Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the New York Jets lasted all of four snaps, but the veteran quarterback vows to return to the field next year.
The future Hall of Famer, who turns 40 in December, tore his Achilles tendon early in Sunday’s eventual Jets victory over the rival Buffalo Bills, costing the longtime Green Bay Packers veteran his 2023 season. He broke his silence with a social media post today, thanking “every person that has reached out” and noting: “The night is darkest before the dawn. And I shall rise yet again.”
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“Thank you to every person that has reached out, called, texted, DM’d, connected through a friend, etc. It has meant a ton to me, and I’ll try and get back to all of you soon,” Rodgers posted. “I’m completely heartbroken and moving through all of the emotions, but deeply touched and humbled by the support and love. 💔 Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I begin the healing process today. 🙏 ♾️ ❤️”
Rodgers’ much-hyped move to the Big Apple after 18 seasons, four MVPs and an NFL title in Green Bay was derailed on his first series. The 10-time Pro Bowler left the game after a sack by the Bills linebacker Leonard Floyd, and he later was carted off the sidelines and diagnosed a full tear of the Achilles. It’s an injury that typically takes four to six months of recovery time.
It’s a concerning injury for anyone but especially for a near-40-year-old quarterback. Other veteran NFL signal callers have come backs from Achilles tears, including Hall of Famer Dan Marino, who was 32 when he went down with a non-contact Achilles in 1993, ending his season. But Marino came back the following year and went on to post back-to-back Pro Bowl campaigns in 1994 and ’95.
More recently, another all-time great in another sport, Kobe Bryant, also suffered a late-career Achilles injury. The Los Angeles Lakers superstar had a Grade 3 rupture at age 34 and was 36 by the time he made a meaningful return to play. While he never had the same explosiveness again, Bryant remained one of the most dangerous players in the league. He retired at 37, scoring 60 points in his final game.
A post shared by Aaron Rodgers (@aaronrodgers12)
Tom Tapp contributed to this report.
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