After an offseason of excitement, the New York Jets' hopes were dashed just four offensive plays into the 2023 NFL season. Four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers sustained a torn Achilles, putting the team in the exact same spot it was in last season.
It was a disappointing development for a number of reasons. Rodgers was looking to prove he still had plenty in the tank after finally getting out of Green Bay. The Jets' young stars — Breece Hall, Ahmad Gardner and Garrett Wilson — were pumped to have a quarterback who could lead the team to the Super Bowl.
Wilson, in particular, seemed to take the news pretty hard. He spoke to 98.7FM ESPN in New York on Tuesday about the sad conversation he had with Rodgers following the injury. Wilson said Rodgers apologized for the injury, telling Wilson, "Sorry, kid."
ICYMI on @BartAndHahn:@GarrettWilson_V discusses how he’s feeling after last night and his interaction with Aaron Rodgers in the locker room at halftime.
“It really hurt my heart. He told me ‘sorry kid’”. pic.twitter.com/dK0r24S7Ax
— 98.7FM ESPN New York (@ESPNNY98_7FM) September 12, 2023
Wilson said he spoke to Rodgers at halftime during the team's Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills. The two hugged and expressed their love for one another. Rodgers then apologized for getting hurt. Wilson said that moment "really hurt my heart." Wilson used the term heartbreaking at least twice while talking about the situation.
Jets will turn back to Zach Wilson with Aaron Rodgers sidelined
With Rodgers out, the Jets will turn back to former first-round draft pick Zach Wilson under center. Wilson failed to impress in 22 starts during his first two seasons in the league, throwing 15 touchdowns against 18 interceptions. He wasn't asked to do much in Monday's game after Rodgers went down.
Wilson's ascendance back into the starting role could create an awkward situation within the team. Jets players were quick to turn on Wilson last season, and even wore shirts in support of backup quarterback Mike White after he turned in a strong start. Some players, like Gardner, found themselves in hot water after liking tweets that criticized Wilson. Once the offseason hit and Rodgers became available, Gardner, Hall and Wilson tried their best to publicly recruit Rodgers to the Jets.
The Jets' road to a Super Bowl will be significantly harder without Rodgers. Wilson is well aware of that, and, as his Tuesday interview shows, is still processing his emotions over Rodgers' injury.