Jets’ Aaron Rodgers nightmare confirmed: Torn Achilles ends season, is career in jeopardy?
nj.com September 12, 2023
(Tribune News Service) — The Jets know plenty about cruel twists. But this one is a doozie, even by their standards.
After months of hope and hype, Aaron Rodgers’ first series with the Jets ended up being his final series of the season. An MRI confirmed what the Jets feared on Monday night, according to multiple reports: Rodgers has a complete tear of his left Achilles tendon. His season is over.
And at age 39 it’s fair to wonder if his career just ended, too.
Somehow, the Jets right back where they began before making the trade for the future-hall-of-fame quarterback, who said in his introductory press conference that the team’s only Lombardi trophy was looking a little lonely.
The idea was that Rodgers could help get the Jets back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 55 years because he wouldn’t have to do it alone. They had a defense that was already one of the best in the league, and an offense that had two potential game-changing weapons in receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Breece Hall.
Sure, they had some questions on the offensive line. But their savvy veteran quarterback would be able to overcome that with his quick decision-making. The most important thing was they didn’t have Zach Wilson back at quarterback after his disastrous 2022 season which ended with the Jets losing six straight to miss the playoffs and Wilson getting benched for a practice squad player in his final start.
And then after four plays of the Rodgers era, the Jets were right back where they ended last year: struggling to score touchdowns with Wilson at quarterback.
Of all the cruel moments in semi-recent Jets’ history, from the “Butt Fumble,” to the Mo Lewis hit that launched Tom Brady’s career, to Vinny Testaverde’s torn Achilles that doomed the Jets in Week 1 of the 1999 season, this was the cruelest of all.
Not just because of what came before it, the months of hype and hope that had Jets fans finally believing as Rodgers took the field. But because of how quickly that hope was dashed. And how well the Jets’ defense played after that moment.
Even after losing Rodgers, and watching the air come out of the building completely, the Jets were able to beat the three-time defending AFC East champion Bills by scoring 19 unanswered points, because their defense turned in yet another remarkable performance.
Perhaps the Jets can somehow get to the playoffs with Wilson this year. But it’s hard to see them advancing very far when they could only muster one touchdown off four forced turnovers on Monday night.
And with Rodgers limping off the field and into an uncertain future, it feels as if we’re always going to be wondering what might have been. It was always a risk adding Rodgers, but no one thought it could backfire like this, losing him after just four snaps. Even for the Jets, who know a thing or two about hard break, it’s hard to believe this is their new reality.
Andy Vasquez may be reached at email@example.com.
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