The New York Jets pulled out a thrilling victory against the Buffalo Bills on Monday night, but it didn't come with Aaron Rodgers on the field.
Rodgers suffered what the Jets called an ankle injury on just the fourth play of his new journey in New York, but head coach Robert Saleh revealed that he is likely dealing with an Achilles injury.
The Jets will see if their believed diagnosis is true with an MRI coming on Tuesday.
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“Prayers tonight, but it's not good,” Saleh admitted to reporters after the game.
Saleh added that Zach Wilson, who the Jets strayed away from while pursuing a veteran replacement this offseason, will be the starter for the Jets the remainder of the season if the MRI says what they believe it will on Rodgers.
Wilson was the Jets' second overall pick out of BYU in 2021, who they believed was their franchise guy. However, his sophomore campaign last year saw digression, leading to getting benched on two different occasions.
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Saleh praised Wilson coming into this game and being able to lead the Jets on an emergency basis. He was able to take the Bills' third turnover of the game – Josh Allen's third interception by Jordan Whitehead – and turn it into the game-tying touchdown the team needed.
Wilson founded Garrett Wilson on a fade to the left side of the end zone, where the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year made an acrobatic catch to haul it in for six.
The Bills eventually forced overtime, and though they won the coin toss, they were forced to punt to Xavier Gipson, the undrafted return specialist that made the Jets' 53-man roster because of his abilities on special teams.
He made that decision by the front office pay off with his first big moment in the NFL, as he ran it back 65 yards for the touchdown and overtime win.
Saleh said that he was going to enjoy this win with his team, but there's no doubt this is about as bittersweet as it gets.
Rodgers came out of his darkness retreat earlier this offseason knowing he wanted to continue playing football, but not with the Green Bay Packers. For the first time in his future Hall of Fame career, he wanted to play for a different team, and the Packers obliged after long negotiations with the Jets to get a trade done that worked for both sides.
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Rodgers quickly came to Florham Park, New Jersey, ready to work and get ready for the high expectations that came with a Super Bowl roster the Jets put together around him. Saleh and everyone else has been impressed with what Rodgers brought to the table, and HBO's ‘Hard Knocks’ showed those behind-the-scenes moments where the entire team, top to bottom, was in awe of what he could do with the football.
Unfortunately in the game of football, nothing is guaranteed, especially in the health department. Four plays are all Rodgers gets this season, which hurts Saleh's heart.
“Personally, I don't hurt for me, I don't hurt for our locker room. I hurt for Aaron,” he said.
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“My heart's with Aaron right now and no one else.”