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NFL star Aaron Rodgers. Alamy Stock Photo
Setback

NFL Jets lose Rodgers for season with torn Achilles tendon

Rodgers, who spent 18 years with Green Bay before being traded to the Jets in April, went down awkwardly early in the game.

LAST UPDATE | Sep 12th 2023, 5:34 PM

NFL SUPERSTAR QUARTERBACK Aaron Rodgers had suffered a season-ending torn left Achilles tendon in his New York Jets debut, the league announced on Tuesday.

An MRI exam Tuesday morning showed the 39-year-old, four-time NFL Most Valuable Player suffered a complete tendon tear when he was sacked by Buffalo’s Leonard Floyd after only four plays in Monday’s 22-16 home victory over the Bills.

“Not the way any of us wanted it to go, but we know the commitment you’ve made to this team will continue to impact us moving forward,” the Jets posted on social media. “Get well soon @AaronRodgers12.”

Rodgers, who spent 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers before being traded to the Jets in April, went down awkwardly about four minutes into the game and was helped off the field with what was then called a left ankle injury, the iconic signal caller limping into the locker room with a walking boot on his left foot.

Jets coach Robert Saleh said after the game the team feared Rodgers had suffered a torn Achilles but would wait for the MRI exam to confirm the extent of the injury.

With Rodgers turning 40 in December, there was concern that one of the most prolific passers in NFL history might have played his final contest.

Rodgers attempting to make the Jets a contender and build a legacy away from Green Bay had become the biggest story of the NFL off-season and made the team a focus for fans.

The Jets obtained Rodgers because they saw a top quarterback as the missing piece for a revamped Jets squad.

Instead, the Jets are likely to be led by the quarterback that Rodgers was brought in to replace, Zach Wilson, who struggled to an 8-14 mark as a starter in two years with the Jets but rallied them to victory on Monday after Rodgers went down.

Saleh said the Jets are likely to bring in another quarterback, but Wilson knows the team’s offensive schemes and is best prepared to immediately fill the void.

The Jets have a website video series called “One Jets Drive” after the team headquarters mailing address, but it also summed up how long Rodgers lasted.

The Rodgers injury was more heartache for long-suffering Jets supporters.

The team won its only Super Bowl in 1969 and owns the longest playoff drought in major North American sports. The Jets last made a post-season appearance in 2010.

Losing a star leader in an opening contest was nothing new for Jets fans.

In 1999, the Jets were coming off a playoff run that ended one win shy of the Super Bowl but starting quarterback Vinny Testaverde suffered a season-ending Achilles tendon rupture in the opener and New York struggled through an 8-8 campaign.

- Brady to the rescue? -

As the Jets pondered trades or free agent quarterback signings, TV commentators and Jets fans suggested the team try to lure legend Tom Brady — the NFL’s all-time leader in completions, pass yardage and thrown throws — out of retirement at age 46.

The seven-time Super Bowl champion quarterback posted a video clip of himself playing basketball Tuesday morning saying he was “in the lab” and “trying to keep up with the kids these days.”

Only two days earlier, Brady — who finished his career with three seasons at Tampa Bay — was honored at a New England Patriots game and declared himself a “Patriot for life” after six titles in 20 years with the Jets’ biggest rivals.

A current television commercial pokes fun at the possibility of a new Brady comeback after his 40-day retirement last year ended with a final season at Tampa Bay before announcing his retirement “for good” this past February.

– © AFP 2023

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