The Jets’ worst nightmare may have already happened – less than four minutes into the game and just four plays into his debut as a Jet, Aaron Rodgers was forced to leave Monday night’s opener with the Bills following a sack by Buffalo’s Leonard Floyd.
Rodgers, who was the last player out of the tunnel during intros and carried an American flag onto the field, handed off to Breece Hall on his first play as a Jet, then threw an incompletion on his second. Following a dead play where a defensive holding negated another incompletion, Rodgers was sacked by Floyd for a 10-yard loss…and promptly sat back down after getting up.
The 39-year-old four-time MVP was tended to by the training staff and then helped off the field limping with what was later termed an ankle issue, and he was questionable to return. Whatever it was, it was bad enough that Rodgers was initially placed on a cart on the sideline after being tended to in the blue medical tent, before getting up and instead slowly walking back towards the locker room.
ESPN analyst Ryan Clark had perhaps the reaction no Jets fan wanted to see:
Rodgers was replaced by Zach Wilson, who completed two passes before the Jets had to punt while fans were holding their breath that the Rodgers era isn’t over just after it barely began.
During the second quarter, ESPN cameras showed Rodgers getting off the cart with a walking boot on his left leg and going into the X-ray room, and he was soon ruled out - although Lisa Salters said soon after that she heard reports X-rays were negative.