Aaron Rodgers was injured on his fourth snap in his debut with the New York Jets, needing to be carted from the sideline with an ankle injury Monday night.
Rodgers was sacked by Buffalo’s Leonard Floyd and sat on the MetLife Stadium turf, where he appeared to reach down at his leg before trainers attended to him. He stood up after a few moments, but needed help getting to New York’s sideline.
The 39-year-old Rodgers was taken to the blue medical tent to be examined — and then sat on a cart. Halfway to the locker room, he hopped off the cart and limped inside.
“He’s dealing with an ankle right now. We’re getting him checked out,” Jets coach Robert Saleh told ESPN in a sideline interview.
The Jets announced Rodgers was questionable to return. Zach Wilson replaced him.
Before the game, Rodgers jogged onto the field with an American flag in hand and received his first official welcome from Jets fans.
He was introduced along with the Jets’ starters on offense by hip-hop artist and actor Method Man — accompanied by a laser light show — and got huge applause from a crowd that has anticipated this moment since the four-time MVP was acquired in April.
The excitement was soon replaced by a nervous murmur in the stands when Rodgers was hurt 3:45 into the game. He handed off once and threw two incomplete passes before the sack that sent him to the sideline in pain.
New York acquired Rodgers, the No. 15 overall pick and a fifth-rounder in this year’s draft from Green Bay on April 26. In exchange, the Packers got the 13th overall selection, a second-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of New York’s plays this season.
Rodgers, who spent his first 18 seasons with Green Bay, raised expectations for the Jets and their fan base when he said he expects to win in New York and pointed out during his introductory news conference that the team’s only Super Bowl trophy from the 1968 season looks “lonely.”
He gives 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 has repeatedly 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. It amounts to a nearly $35 million pay cut from the deal he had with Green Bay in which he was set to make $110 million guaranteed.
Story by Dennis Waszak Jr., The Associated Press