The New York Jets believe star quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered an Achilles injury during Monday night’s 22-16 overtime win against the Buffalo Bills, head coach Robert Saleh announced postgame.
“MRI’s probably going to confirm what we think. … It’s not good,” Saleh said, according to Albert Breer of The MMQB.
Rodgers was helped off the field after taking a sack on the first drive of his New York debut. The 39-year-old spent time in the medical tent before leaving the field on a cart. The team later announced that his X-rays were negative. Zach Wilson entered the game under center to replace Rodgers, who attempted one pass and played four snaps before exiting.
The Jets had an aggressive 2023 offseason and acquired Rodgers as part of a trade from the Green Bay Packers. New York landed the veteran passer and Green Bay’s first- and fifth-round picks in the 2023 draft in exchange for first-, second-, and sixth-round selections in 2023 and a conditional 2024 second-round choice that can become a first if Rodgers plays 65% of the team’s snaps this year.
A first-round pick in 2005, Rodgers spent his first 18 NFL seasons with Green Bay, starting 223 games and leading the franchise to a Super Bowl title. He’s the Packers’ all-time leader with 475 touchdown passes.
Despite boasting a top-five defense and rostering some of football’s most promising players, New York missed the playoffs last season while struggling with three different starters at the quarterback position. The Jets haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, the longest drought in the NFL.
In addition to the 10-time Pro Bowler, the AFC East club signed running back Dalvin Cook and wide receivers Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman, among others. New York also rosters wideout Garrett Wilson and cornerback Sauce Gardner, who last season became just the third set of rookie teammates to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year awards in the same campaign.
The NFL rewarded the new-look Jets with six prime-time games this season, a franchise record.
Wilson finished Monday’s game with 14 completions on 21 attempts for 140 yards and one touchdown against one interception. He helped New York score 13 unanswered points in the second half. Saleh confirmed that the 24-year-old will be the team’s starter with Rodgers sidelined.
“He’ll be the guy,” Saleh said, according to Garafolo.
New York currently doesn’t have any other quarterback on its active roster, but veteran Tim Boyle is on the team’s practice squad.
Wilson has failed to meet expectations since entering the NFL as the No. 2 pick in 2021, posting an 8-14 record as a starter.
The Jets’ defense put on a show versus Buffalo, forcing four Josh Allen turnovers and a three-and-out in overtime. In the extra frame, undrafted rookie receiver Xavier Gipson scored a 65-yard touchdown on a punt return to walk off Buffalo and claim a dramatic win at MetLife Stadium.