Home Sports Jets’ Aaron Rodgers tore Achilles tendon, ending his season

Jets’ Aaron Rodgers tore Achilles tendon, ending his season

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Jets’ Aaron Rodgers tore Achilles tendon, ending his season

FLORHAM PARK, NJ — After losing quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a season-ending torn Achilles, confirmed Tuesday by an MRI, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh gave a strong support for Zach Wilson as the new starter and mocked those who believe in their playoff hopes. are ruined.

“I don’t know why people are trying to put an obituary under our team name,” Saleh told reporters on a Zoom call.

Rodgers, injured in the Jets’ fourth game of the new season, was placed on injured reserve and will undergo surgery to repair his Achilles tendon. Saleh declined to reveal a timetable, but indicated he hopes the four-time MVP – the centerpiece of their successful offseason – will stay with the team during his rehabilitation.

The devastating injury sparked intense speculation about possible replacements. The Jets are expected to add a veteran, but Saleh stressed that Wilson is the new QB1 and no acquisition would be made to compete with the former first-round pick.

“I want to make it very clear: Zach is our quarterback,” Saleh said. “We have a lot of confidence in Zach.

“This is Zach’s team and we ride with Zach,” he added.

Wilson, who struggled last season and was demoted twice, will make his 23rd career start Sunday for the Dallas Cowboys (1-0). Journeyman Tim Boyle will be brought up from the training squad to be the main substitute for the match.

The Jets’ grand plan was to allow the 24-year-old Wilson to learn under Rodgers for a few years before returning him to the starting job, but that all changed just 4:04 into the 22-16 victory in Monday night overtime against the Buffalo Bills.

While trying to get away from defensive end Leonard Floyd, Rodgers’ left leg was planted in the turf and his Achilles ruptured. A slow-motion replay showed his left calf — the same calf he strained during OTAs — reverberating as he went down for the bag.

Offensive linemen tried to help him up, but Rodgers told them, “I’m not going to get up,” according to guard Alijah Vera-Tucker.

It was a blow to the Jets, who traded for Rodgers and built their season around him. Due to his age (39) and the severity of his injury, his future is now a major question.

Before Monday night, the former Green Bay Packers star had said multiple times that he wanted to play for a few more years. He is under contract through 2025, with a total of $75 million in guarantees after agreeing to a voluntary $35 million pay cut in August. He’s making $37 million this season, all of that is guaranteed.

Saleh declined to speculate on Rodgers’ future.

“As you can imagine, he’s down,” Saleh said. “I’m going to let him answer those questions. I haven’t talked about the future of what he expects or what he thinks. I think that’s a conversation, tactfully, left for another day. But he’s, as you can imagine, with how much he puts into this, he’s obviously a little disappointed.”

Rodgers faces several months of intensive rehabilitation, but the Jets want him there.

“We all want him to be connected and I think he wants to be here,” Saleh said.

The Jets, who entered the season with Super Bowl aspirations, will turn to the quarterback they sent to the bench during the offseason. They billed this as a “reset” season for Wilson, who has spent the last few months learning alongside Rodgers. The hope was that he would be able to improve his fundamentals without the pressure of being a starter. He kicked up a storm last season when, after a poor performance against the New England Patriots, he refused to accept any blame for the loss during his postgame press conference. Two days later, he was benched.

Wilson said he was “much better prepared” after working with Rodgers.

“The hardest part now is putting it in play, and I have to be able to do that,” he said Monday night.

After replacing Rodgers on the first possession, Wilson (14 for 21, 140 yards) was inconsistent. He covered a costly interception, but he also helped the team overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson.

Wilson won five of his first six starts last season, although he passed for fewer than 155 yards in three of those victories.

Saleh said: “Everything about him is so different than it was a year ago. It’s happening faster than I think anyone expected, obviously, under the circumstances, but he’s someone who made a drastic improvement over last year.”

Rodgers’ injury sparked discussion around the league about MetLife Stadium’s new turf field and the overall safety of turf surfaces. Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, speaking to reporters in Philadelphia, ripped the quality of the field.

“…MetLife, everyone knows that damn stadium,” Slay said. “They need to have real grass. It’s trash. It’s sad for anyone to fall because we’re playing this dangerous game, man. Everyone thinks we’re superheroes but this is really not the case.”

Saleh doesn’t think the pitch caused the injury, saying: “No. If it was a non-contact injury, I think that would obviously be something to discuss. But it was kind of a forced injury .” [injury]. I think it was due to trauma. I know that the players prefer grass and we invest a lot in these young men. »

During the preseason, Rodgers said he preferred playing on grass, but said MetLife Stadium was “one of the best artificial surfaces I’ve seen.”

ESPN’s Tim McManus contributed to this report.

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