The injury came during the Jets' Monday Night Football contest against the Buffalo Bills at home. Just four plays into Rodgers' debut and the Jets' opening possession, the 39-year-old landed awkwardly after a sack by the Bills' Leonard Floyd.
Rodgers stood up before going back on the ground in pain. He was helped off the field and into the blue tent on the sidelines, where he was later escorted to the locker room on a cart and eventually ruled out of the game.
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"Concerned with his Achilles," Saleh said to reporters after the game. "MRI is probably going to confirm what we think is already gonna happen. So, prayers tonight. But, it's not good."
The Jets called upon backup Zach Wilson for the rest of the game. They trailed 13-3 at halftime, but Wilson, Garrett Wilson and the offense found a way to put points on the board late and claimed a 16-13 lead. However, Buffalo answered with a field goal at the end of regulation to force overtime.
After the Bills were forced to punt on their opening overtime possession, Jets rookie Xavier Gipson returned the ensuing punt 65 yards to the house, and even Saleh rushed to celebrate in the endzone.
But for Saleh, it was unfortunate that Rodgers couldn't experience the moment.
"That part sucks," Saleh said. "I'm gonna enjoy this win. Winning in the NFL is hard regardless of who the quarterback is. Personally, I don't hurt for me, I don't hurt for our locker room, I hurt for Aaron. I know how much he invested in all of this."
New York acquired Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers in April, along with a 2023 fifth-round pick, in exchange for a 2023 second-rounder, a 2023 sixth-rounder and a conditional 2024 second-rounder that would bump into a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of the snaps in 2023. The two teams also swapped 2023 first-rounders, so the Jets went two spots down from No. 13 to No. 15.
Rodgers, a four-time NFL MVP, agreed to a restructured two-year, $75 million deal with the Jets in the latter stages of the offseason. He sacrificed around $35 million of the roughly $110 million in future guaranteed money he was previously owed to supply the Jets some extra cash to retool the roster.
Now, the Jets will move ahead with Wilson, beginning with a Week 2 matchup against the Cowboys in Dallas next Sunday.