UPDATE: Tuesday morning’s MRI confirmed the worst for the Jets and Aaron Rodgers, as the 4-time MVP has ruptured his Achilles and is at minimum done for the season, with questions remaining about whether he will try to return next season or call it a career.
An MRI confirmed today that Aaron Rodgers officially tore his Achilles on the fourth play of his Jets’ career.
Rodgers’ season now, officially, is over. There already are questions about whether his Hall-of-Fame career is, too.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 12, 2023
Original Story: The New York Jets overcame a ten-point deficit to pick up a season-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday evening. The win was secured with a memorable punt return touchdown by Xavier Gipson in overtime but, earlier in the evening, Jets starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered an injury that immediately cast a shadow over the rest of the 2023 campaign for the team.
Rodgers exited in the the first quarter with what was initially announced as an ankle issue, but Jets head coach Robert Saleh took to the podium after New York’s victory and confirmed the fear is an Achilles injury that would sideline Rodgers for the season.
Robert Saleh announces that the Jets are concerned about an Achilles injury for Aaron Rodgers
"It's not good" pic.twitter.com/EeoyRFQF3P
— Jets Videos (@snyjets) September 12, 2023
Saleh later told reporters that Zach Wilson is in line to remain in place as the starting quarterback after presiding over Monday’s comeback win.
"He'll be the guy," Saleh says of Zach Wilson being the starter moving forward without Aaron Rodgers.
— Jonathan Jones (@jjones9) September 12, 2023
At this juncture, nothing about Rodgers’ diagnosis is official, but it is also an indication of the expectation that Saleh was willing to share these sentiments on the record. In terms of the near future, Zach Wilson was largely shaky in the win, though he did connect with Garrett Wilson on a pivotal touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Jets could conceivably be in the market for external options. New York’s defense (and special teams) showed why the team is in “win-now mode” at this juncture, and it remains to be seen as to whether the team is comfortable with Zach Wilson at the helm.
For Rodgers, this is obviously a devastating potential blow just moments into his tenure with a new franchise. The 39-year-old is already a sure-fire Hall of Fame selection in the future, but Rodgers also took a notable pay decrease in jumping to New York and entered the season with sky-high expectations to transform the Jets into a Super Bowl contender. At the very least, the expectation is a season-ending injury and, with anything as serious as a potentially ruptured Achilles, Rodgers’ long-term future could be in doubt given his age and a lengthy recovery.