49ers' Warner is ‘hyped' to face Rodgers, Jets 2024 season opener

49ers' Warner is ‘hyped' to face Rodgers, Jets 2024 season opener originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Fred Warner is extra excited for the 49ers to take on the New York Jets in Week 1 of the 2024 NFL season on ESPN’s "Monday Night Football" because he gets to face a star he greatly respects: Aaron Rodgers.

The matchup at Levi’s Stadium will be Rodgers' second career start for New York after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 1 last season. Warner, in an appearance on the "Candlestick Chronicles" podcast with Kyle Madson and Chris Biderman, explained why he is amped to play against Rodgers under the lights on Sep. 9.

“I was hyped,” Warner said of hearing about San Francisco’s schedule and first regular-season matchup with Madson and Biderman. “I was pumped up. Playing on 'Monday Night Football' to start the season is always a great start. And like you mentioned, I do have a unique relationship with Aaron.

“I am always grateful and indebted to him for the love that he showed me [when I was] going into my third season. You know, sometimes that’s what it takes in order to kind of put yourself on the map is the nod from a guy who has been an MVP and been a Super Bowl champion who has the respect of the league because their words mean a lot.”

Warner recalled a sportsmanlike quote from Rodgers after the 49ers and Green Bay Packers met in Week 9 of the 2020 NFL season.

Then, after a 34-17 Packers victory in Santa Clara, Rodgers told Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews that the 49ers had “possibly the best middle linebacker in the game.”

Warner, now a three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, takes the memory with him everywhere and tries to share the love -- as Rodgers did -- with the league’s rising stars.

“I don’t take that lightly, and I try to do the same for the young guys coming up in this league -- now that I have that respect -- I kind of give other guys that respect as well,” Warner concluded. “So I’m excited, man. It’s going to be a great game.”

Warner simply is eager to pay it forward and face Rodgers once again. After all, the last time the two met was San Francisco's NFC divisional playoff round win over Green Bay in 2022 at a snowy Lambeau Field.

No. 54 surely hopes to win another showdown against Rodgers.

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