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Aaron Rodgers Tears Achilles, Season Over; Is This Zach Wilson's Last Chance?

Sept. 12, 2023

Morgan Killian-Moseley

The New York Jets made it clear they wanted Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers made it clear he wanted to play for the Jets. The Jets got Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. They picked up Rodgers's trusted receivers, Randall Cobb and Allen Lazard. They went all in betting on Rodgers being the missing piece that would get them back in the playoffs.

The Jets got four plays out of Rodgers before getting sent back to square one.

The four-time MVP quarterback suffered a torn Achilles tendon in his left ankle during last night's game against the Buffalo Bills when he was spun to the turf on a sack by Bills edge rusher Leonard Floyd. The injury's severity was confirmed by an MRI scan this morning, and as a result Rodgers was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.

This thrust Zach Wilson back into the spotlight, and he was mediocre in the Jets' 22-16 overtime victory, going 14-for-21 passing for 140 yards and a touchdown, throwing an interception early on as well.

Obviously losing Rodgers, a future first-ballot Hall-Of-Famer, is devastating for Gang Green, who have been searching for nearly 50 years for the successor to Joe Namath. In fact, many people believe the Jets were so desperate for Broadway Joe's heir apparent that they were willing to repeat the same storyline with Rodgers as they had with his predecessor in Green Bay, Brett Favre. But at least Favre played a full season for the Jets before his relationship with the team went off the rails.

But the hope for Jets fans is that Rodgers' injury may allow Wilson a chance at sweet, sweet redemption. The 2nd overall pick in the 2021 draft has not earned many positive headlines in his NFL career thus far, going 8-14 as Jets starting QB in his career and famously getting benched for cult hero Mike White. With the acquisition of Rodgers, it was looking like Wilson's career trajectory was headed towards him being better known for his dating preferences than his on-field performance.

This is Wilson's chance to change that narrative. Rodgers will be back next season, and the money he'll be paid virtually guarantees he'll be under center for the Jets Week 1 2024, if healthy. What's not guaranteed is Wilson being in a Jets uniform in 2024. 

This season is now an audition for Wilson; a chance to show the Jets what he's learned being in the same QB room as Rodgers, that their faith in him when they drafted him out of BYU wasn't completely misplaced. But it's also a chance for Wilson to convince one of the other 31 teams that he's worthy of taking a chance on should the Jets decide to part ways with him.

In any case, Rodgers' injury gives Wilson a chance some people thought he'd never get again. It may be his last in the NFL. We shall soon see what he does with it.

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