Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Jets’ Rodgers undergoes surgery
By The Associated Press
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers announced on his Instagram Stories on Thursday night that he had surgery to repair his torn left Achilles tendon on Wednesday.
The post includes a picture of a smiling Rodgers in a blue medical cap and gown in a hospital bed with his left foot clearly bruised.
Rodgers said the surgery was performed by Dr. Neal Elattrache, an orthopedic surgeon based in Los Angeles who has worked with numerous professional athletes during his career.
“Surgery went great yesterday,” Rodgers wrote. “Thank you for all the love and prayers and support. And thanks to the (goat emoji) Dr Elatrrache and his staff for starting me on the road to recovery.”
Rodgers is out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon on the fourth snap of his debut with his new team Monday night, a 22-16 overtime victory over Buffalo.
The 39-year-old quarterback posted Wednesday on Instagram in his first public comments that he was “completely heartbroken and moving through all of the emotions” after the injury. He added: “The night is darkest before the dawn. And I shall rise yet again.”
Rodgers is also facing a long, arduous recovery and rehabilitation from the injury. But his post Wednesday appeared to indicate he might not be ready to call it a career.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said Wednesday that Rodgers was going for some medical consultations to determine his next step. It turned out the four-time MVP had surgery later that day.
Saleh said he “would be shocked” if Rodgers ended his playing career that way. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel
Hackett, a close friends of Rodgers, echoed that sentiment Thursday.
“Oh, yeah,” Hackett said. “Whenever Aaron has his mind set on something, good luck to anyone that wants to change
Zach Wilson is replacing Rodgers as the starting quarterback and will be under center for the Jets’ game Sunday against the Cowboys in Dallas.
JETS QB WILSON CONFIDENT ABOUT TAKING OVER FOR RODGERS >>
Zach Wilson was in the middle of the locker room Thursday talking about taking over for the injured Aaron Rodgers when a teammate shouted and made the New York Jets quarterback grin.
“Zach, we love you, bro!”
It was a light moment, but one that was telling.
Wilson struggled mightily during his first two NFL seasons and his confidence took a massive hit, and so did his popularity in the locker room. He was benched twice last season and his playing future — particularly with the Jets — was uncertain when New York acquired Rodgers in April. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft was no longer the face of the franchise.
But Wilson insisted he would soak up as much football knowledge as he could from the sideline and learn from Rodgers, the fourtime NFL MVP and one-time Super Bowl winner. He found himself back in the huddle after just four snaps with Rodgers out for the season with a torn left Achilles tendon suffered in the Jets’ season-opening overtime win over Buffalo.
Suddenly, the spotlight is back on
“One step at a time, one play at a time,” Wilson said. “And I think it’s trusting the guys around me.”
Wilson had some shaky moments Monday night when he came in for Rodgers, finishing 14 of 21 for 140 yards and a touchdown with an interception. But he was able to make plays under pressure, too, and the short passes to get out of trouble — something that was such an issue last season — were also there.
All that, from the Jets’ perspective, is progress.
“I’ll tell you, my respect for him is off the charts,” said offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, in his first season with the Jets. “For a guy to not have any practice to come in there and execute the way that he did, it’s so great to see.”
Defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich knew Wilson would be OK when he looked across the locker room at halftime against the Bills.
“There was a really cool moment,” Ulbrich said, “where I saw the skill guys wrap their arms around Zach and uplift him.”
There’s almost a sense that after all the hits Wilson has taken, both on and off the field, the Jets are doing everything they can to make sure he knows they’re behind him.
“I think when he came in, he had a nice swagger about him,” center Connor Mcgovern said. “I think he lost it a little bit over the course. And it’s back. It’s back and better than ever. The way he’s carrying himself around the locker room, around the building is awesome.”
Wilson feels it in himself, too. “A lot of confidence, man,” he said. “I truly believe in myself, and I think that’s the first step to being in the NFL. You’ve got to believe in yourself first and the rest can take care of itself.”