13 Sep 2023

Aaron Rodgers NFL season with the Jets is over

9:24 am on 13 September 2023
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets. Photo: AFP

Aaron Rodgers will miss the rest of the 2023 National Football League season with a torn left Achilles tendon suffered moments into his much-anticipated New York Jets debut.

The Jets acquired Rodgers in a $125 million blockbuster trade with the Green Bay Packers in April and the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player's bid to turn the long-suffering team into a contender had been the top storyline heading into the 2023 season.

But on the Jets' fourth play from scrimmage in their season opener on Monday versus the visiting Buffalo Bills, Rodgers fell awkwardly and eventually had to be helped off the field by two members of the medical staff.

The 39-year-old quarterback was wearing a walking boot as he headed to the Jets locker room after getting X-Rays, which were negative, and was ultimately ruled out for the rest of the game.

After the game the Jets said Rodgers would have an MRI on Tuesday to determine the severity of his injury and the club has since placed him on injured reserve.

The atmosphere at the Jets home stadium was electric ahead of the prime time clash, the loudest ovation saved for Rodgers when he sprinted onto the field carrying an American flag on the 22nd anniversary of the deadly Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

"I feel more for Aaron than anyone," Jets head coach Robert Saleh said.

Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets sacked by Bills defensive end Leonard Floyd.

Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets sacked by Bills defensive end Leonard Floyd. Photo: AFP

"He's invested so much into this organization, so much into this journey he's embarked on and wanting to be a part of what we have going here and how much he's invested into not only this organization, but his team mates, himself, this fanbase, this city. I have a lot of emotions for him."

The Jets last made the NFL playoffs in 2010 and since then have managed just one season above .500 while finishing in last place in the four-team AFC East division seven times.

But the trajectory of the franchise changed immediately with the acquisition of Rodgers, whose arrival saw the Jets' Super Bowl odds surge after the trade.

Back-up quarterback Zach Wilson, who the Jets selected with the second pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, came in for Rodgers and completed 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown en route to a surprising 22-16 overtime victory against the Bills.

"I don't know why people are trying top put an obituary onto our team name," said Saleh.

"Aaron is an unbelievable piece of this whole thing and we love him but I think there's 52 other guys in the locker room plus the 16 practice squad guys that believe that we can do a hell of a lot of good things here."