Aaron Rodgers Helped Off Field 3 Snaps Into Jets Tenure: ‘Significant Worry’

Aaron Rodgers, Jets

Getty Quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets is helped off the field by team trainers after an injury during the team's opening game against the Buffalo Bills on September 11, 2023.

Aaron Rodgers‘ run with the New York Jets got off to an inauspicious beginning on Monday night, to say the least.

Team doctors carted the former Green Bay Packers quarterback and four-time NFL Most Valuable Player off the field after just his third play from scrimmage. Rodgers dropped back to pass and was sacked by Buffalo Bills edge rusher Leonard Floyd. As Floyd dragged him to the ground, Rodgers appeared to awkwardly roll his left leg.

Rodgers initially limped off the playing field with the help of team trainers before the Jets carted him back to the locker room. The Monday Night Football broadcast reported shortly after that Rodgers was questionable to return with an ankle injury, before officially being ruled out mid-way through the second quarter following negative X-ray testing.

The Comeback posted video of the incident to its X account in the immediate aftermath.

“Aaron Rodgers leaves his first series with Jets due to injury before even completing a pass,” the video caption said. “Zach Wilson is in at QB for the Jets.”

According to an initial report from former NFL doctor David Chao, now of Sports Injury Central, there is “significant worry for a season-ending injury” to Rodgers’ Achilles tendon.

Aaron Rodgers’ Injury Has Potential to Hurt Packers as Well as Jets

Aaron Rodgers, Leonard Floyd

GettyQuarterback Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets is sacked by pass-rusher Leonard Floyd of the Buffalo Bills during an NFL game on September 11, 2023. Rodgers was injured on the play.

The injury is gut-wrenching for both Rodgers and Jets fans, especially if he ends up missing significant time. However, it’s not great news for the Packers either.

A stipulation exists in the trade general manager Brian Gutekunst crafted to send Rodgers to New York, which states that a conditional 2024 second-round pick Green Bay acquired from the Jets will become a first-round selection should Rodgers play 65% of the team’s offensive snaps in 2023.

To put that in context, Rodgers needs to play every snap under center in 11 games for New York this season to come close to that mark — assuming a similar number of snaps in each contest. In all likelihood, 12 games played start-to-finish will be enough to hit the 65% mark.

If Rodgers only sprained his ankle, and didn’t suffer a more severe injury of some type, he could still play enough to cross the 65%-threshold. The typical amount of time NFL players spend sidelined due to a high-ankle sprain, which is the most debilitating type of sprain one can suffer, is at least four games. That is according to a January report from Joe Rivera of Sporting News, in which he detailed a similar injury suffered by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Packers Burst Successfully Into Jordan Love Era With Week 1 Drubbing of Bears

GettyQuarterback Jordan Love works at the line of scrimmage before a snap during an NFL game against the Chicago Bears on September 10, 2023.

While there were some hard feelings among Packer Nation against Gutekunst for trading Rodgers and against Rodgers for wanting out of Green Bay, the fan base should be generally excited about what it saw from new starting quarterback Jordan Love on Sunday.

Love completed 15-of-27 passes for 245 yards and three touchdowns, leading Green Bay to a resounding 38-20 road victory over the NFC North Division rival Chicago Bears. Furthermore, Love achieved that success without his top wide receiver Christian Watson, who missed the game with a hamstring injury.

There is a reasonable chance Watson could return next week, providing Love with his full complement of skill-position weapons when the team travels to play the Atlanta Falcons on September 17.