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Rodgers’ hyped New York Jet season ends in 4 plays with torn Achilles

Torn Achilles tendons typically take several months of recovery and extensive rehabilitation
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New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) is sacked by Buffalo Bills defensive end Leonard Floyd (56) during the first quarter of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Aaron Rodgers has a torn left Achilles tendon, according to a person familiar with the diagnosis, and the quarterback likely will miss the rest of the New York Jets’ season.

An MRI on Tuesday confirmed the four-time NFL MVP’s injury, the person told The Associated Press, speaking on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce it. Coach Robert Saleh was scheduled to speak to reporters on a video call later Tuesday.

NFL Network first reported Rodgers tore the Achilles tendon, confirming the Jets’ fears. Torn Achilles tendons typically take several months of recovery due to the extensive rehabilitation needed.

“Concerned with his Achilles,” Saleh said after the Jets’ 22-16 overtime win over Buffalo on Monday night. “MRI is probably going to confirm what we think is going to happen, so prayers tonight. But it’s not good.”

On his fourth regular-season snap in a Jets uniform, Rodgers tried to avoid a rushing Leonard Floyd, who wrapped up the quarterback and spun him down to the MetLife Stadium turf. Rodgers stood up after a few moments, looked over to the Jets’ sideline and then sat on the turf — seemingly knowing he was seriously hurt.

He needed help from trainers to get to New York’s sideline, where he was taken to the blue medical tent to be examined. Rodgers then got on a cart to go to the locker room, hopped off near the tunnel and limped inside.

Zach Wilson replaced Rodgers just 3:45 into the game and finished 14 of 21 for 140 yards with a touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson and an interception in the victory.

The third-year quarterback will now start for the Jets on Sunday at Dallas – and the foreseeable future.

The 39-year-old Rodgers, who spent his first 18 seasons with Green Bay, was acquired by the Jets in April and immediately raised expectations for the frustrated franchise.

He gave the Jets their most accomplished quarterback since Brett Favre, who was acquired from Green Bay in 2008 — clearing the way for Rodgers to become the Packers’ signal caller.

Rodgers, who repeatedly has said he won’t be one-and-done with the Jets, agreed in July to a restructured contract that gives him $75 million in fully guaranteed money over this season and next.

But now, he’ll have to focus on a lengthy recovery and rehabilitation process, which could make his playing future uncertain.

The situation evoked eerily similar memories of 1999, when Vinny Testaverde — who, coincidentally, was the Jets’ honorary captain Monday night — ruptured his Achilles tendon early in New York’s season opener against New England.

Like this year’s squad, those Jets had Super Bowl aspirations after going to the AFC championship game the previous season. New York instead finished 8-8 and missed the playoffs.

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