There were a lot of questions about how long the partnership between Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets would last when the team acquired him from the Green Bay Packers. The future Hall of Famer was contemplating retirement this offseason but was rejuvenated by the move to New York.
Many people commented on how happy he was about the change and that it had been a long time since he felt that way. Unfortunately, questions about his future have come into play once again.
Rodgers was injured on the Jets’ fourth offensive play in their season opener against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. It was a devastating injury, as he tore his left Achilles, ending his 2023 season before he was able to even complete a pass.
That will lead to the Jets having to make some major changes this season, as Zach Wilson will now be taking over as the starting quarterback once again. People have wondered whether this would be it for Rodgers, as he is facing a long, arduous road to rehab and recovery.
No one would blame Rodgers, who at 39 years old is the oldest player currently in the NFL if he rode off into retirement. However, that isn’t what Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh believes will be the case. “I’d be shocked if this is the way he’s going to go out,” Saleh said Wednesday.
Saleh admitted that he hasn’t spoken about the future with Rodgers, as he is giving him some time and space to decompress and process the injury. He added that Rodgers is “working through a whole lot of headspace things that he needs to deal with, and that will be the last thing I talk to him about.”
Rodgers is doing due diligence when it comes to the recovery process, as surgery has yet to be scheduled. He is meeting with different people to figure out what the best course of action is for himself.
While Saleh is giving Rodgers the space he needs right now, he and the Jets are hoping that Rodgers will return to the team’s headquarters at some point. His presence is one that can still help the team even if he isn’t on the field.
“I think it’s very important,” Saleh said of having Rodgers around the team. “It’s important for him. For him, I think it’s the mental health and healing. I think that’s very important. But his presence, his words. … I said he’s as much a football coach as he is a player. Just having his presence, his thoughts, his words and his leadership, anybody would want that.”
Right now, the Jets will be turning back to Zach Wilson to lead their offense. There was optimism this offseason that the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft made real steps in his development learning from Rodgers. We will now see that firsthand as he will get the first crack at replacing him in the starting lineup.