Well, that didn’t last long.
The build-up to Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the New York Jets started before he even signed with the team. We spent an entire spring and summer month figuring out how he fit with the Jets, and then he signed the contract on July 26. And after a period of five weeks Hard blows season was largely dedicated to Rodgers, his 2023 season is in serious jeopardy after he suffered an injury on his first drive against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.
The Bills pass rush came from the blind side and Rodgers tried to get away. Ultimately he was fired. Rodgers stood up and immediately sat down. He was helped off the field, placed on the cart and then helped into the tunnel. The Jets announced that Rodgers had suffered an ankle injury, but provided no further details.
ESPN’s Lisa Salters provided an update in the second quarter, saying Rodgers’ x-rays came back negative, but he is officially out for the rest of the game.
“He is currently experiencing ankle problems and is being monitored,” coach Robert Saleh told Salters
According to reports Rodgers was wearing a walking boot while on his way to the Jets’ locker room after getting x-rays.
The Jets then defeated the Bills without Rodgers, 22-16 in OT.
Since breaking his collarbone during the 2017 season, Rodgers was quite healthy. He won the MVP in 2020 and 2021, but played much of last season with an avulsion fracture in his left thumb.
Two of the Jets’ biggest problems affected the game that saw Rodgers go down: offensive line play and the MetLife Stadium turf. Last season, both Sterling Shepard and Kyle Fuller suffered season-ending injuries. On the line side, Mekhi Becton missed most of the last two seasons due to injury, and Duane Brown missed much of training camp after undergoing surgery on his torn left rotator cuff, which he played with for most of 2022 .
Becton had been phased into the starting rotation this summer, and the Jets activated Brown from the PUP list on August 23.
And then there is the grass problem: this would have been solved by replacing the crack-flim surface with FieldTurf Core. The artificial surface certainly didn’t look as sleek when it splashed on Daniel Jones’ face, as the Dallas Cowboys repeatedly threw him onto it during their 40-0 Week 1 win.
During the play in which Rodgers was injured, the pass rusher on Brown’s side reached Rodgers quite quickly. When Rodgers went down, his foot appeared to get stuck in the turf beneath his body.
All that hope and hype disappeared within half an hour of kick-off. Rodgers arriving at the Jets to save their season was the story of the offseason. During the halftime of Week 1, a happy ending to that story may not be physically possible.