The loss of Rodgers hung over the Jets’ dramatic overtime win on Monday, as the long-beleaguered franchise was riding an offseason of optimism into a 2023 campaign that crashed before it got out of park.
Rodgers, who hasn’t missed a game due to injury since 2017, was part of only four plays (one that resulted in a penalty), with his abbreviated stat line in his Jets debut reading: 0 of 1 with a 39.6 QB rating. His third dropback saw him pressured just as his first two did. This time, Bills pass rusher Leonard Floyd got a hold of him and wrestled him down with Rodgers’ left foot catching on the turf and his Achilles tearing in the process.
The four-time Most Valuable Player initially got up to his feet and then sat back down.
Rodgers was carted to the locker room after a trip inside the blue medical tent. He was shown in a walking boot on his way to X-rays on the broadcast.
Initially deemed an ankle injury that came up negative after the X-rays, Rodgers’ Achilles was the real culprit.
The Jets haven’t put together a winning season since 2015 or clinched a playoff berth since 2010. Rodgers acquired in a massive offseason trade with the Green Bay Packers, who will now receive a second-round pick next year following Rodgers’ season-ending injury (Green Bay was set to receive a first-rounder if Rodgers played in at least 65 percent of snaps this year).
That trade was envisioned to end New York’s playoff drought, but now, once more, Wilson will be looked on to be the savior.
The BYU product is 8-14 as a starter over his previous two seasons. The common theme in 2022 was that Wilson’s poor play held back a New York squad bolstered by a tenacious defense.
New York’s defense is still outstanding, as evidenced by Monday’s performance. Running back Breece Hall looked amazing in his return from a torn ACL, and there are winning pieces all around Wilson.
The Jets are technically 1-0 with Rodgers as a starter. Will their grand expectations crumble in his absence, or will they be able to rally without him as they did Monday?
A high-profile matchup with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 will be the first confirmation of what lies ahead for Gang Green.