New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, in his weekly interview with “The Pat McAfee Show,” described his season-ending injury that quickly ended what he thought would be an exciting debut with the team.
Rodgers, who tore his Achilles tendon Monday night in his first game with his new team after 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, said he ran the “gamut of emotions.”
“Monday was an amazing day to start,” Rodgers said on Friday. “Amazing night, running on the field with the flag, electric… And then it turned into one of the toughest 24-hour stretches that I’ve had in my life, for sure. Lot of sadness, lot of tears, lot of dark frustration and anger, all the gamut of emotions. But then the sun rose the next day.”
Rodgers told McAfee he knew the extent of his injury before the results of his MRI, but said he will be fueled during his recovery by his doubters.
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“Before even an MRI, I knew what happened. I knew I had torn my Achilles,” Rodgers said.
“I think what I’d like to say is ‘Give me the doubts.’ Give me the doubts, give me the timetables, give me all the things you think can, should or will happen, because all I need is that one little extra percent of inspiration. That’s all I need. So give me your timetables, give me your doubts, give me your prognostications, and then watch what I do.”
The 39-year-old was sacked by Buffalo Bills edge rusher Leonard Floyd and suffered a complete tear of his left Achilles tendon – much to NFL fans’ disappointment.
Rodgers, who underwent surgery, was not asked Friday about the MetLife Stadium artificial turf and whether it played a role in his injury.
Data from the past eight years shows there is no difference in the rate of Achilles injuries on natural grass and synthetic surfaces, Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy, and health and safety, said during a virtual news conference Tuesday.
Rodgers’ backup, Zach Wilson, came in to fill the quarterback void and led the team to a 22-16 overtime victory over the Bills after undrafted rookie wide receiver Xavier Gipson returned a punt 65 yards for a walk-off touchdown.
The reaction to Rodgers’ injury on social media was filled with emotion, with many Jets fans mourning the loss of the player they thought might be a final piece in a Super Bowl-winning team. ESPN host and Jets fan Mike Greenberg said on Tuesday the emotional roller coaster of the last six months makes this such a painful moment.
“I want more than anyone to be furious today, but the reality is, sometimes things just happen. There really isn’t anybody to be mad at,” Greenberg said on ‘Get Up.’ “Football is inherently a violent and dangerous game, injuries are going to take place 100% of the time and you just have to hope that yours is not the team, if you are a fan, whose season is destroyed by an injury.”
Before being traded in the offseason, Rodgers had spent the first 18 seasons of his NFL career with the Green Bay Packers, where he led the team to a 31-25 victory in Super Bowl XLV in 2011.
Rodgers won MVP awards in 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021, while setting numerous records for his accuracy and deadliness over the years.