Aaron Rodgers’s move from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets has been the story of the offseason. The move has rocketed New York into the forefront of NFL interest, with the Jets due to participate in five prime-time games in the upcoming season.
After a massive increase in media coverage and a jump in Super Bowl odds, the Jets feel they’re now contenders with Rodgers. But, after reportedly suffering an injury scare at the Jets’ organized team activities (OTAs), what is Rodgers’ potential outlook?
Latest Aaron Rodgers Injury Update
The veteran QB left the Jets’ OTAs early Tuesday as a precaution. After warming up and stretching with his teammates, Rodgers didn’t participate any further in practice. He returned inside the facility for a moment before returning to the sideline, where he spent time with new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. With Rodgers off the field, Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle took reps.
Speaking to the media after practice, Rodgers spoke that, “I just tweaked my calf in a little pre-practice conditioning, so I decided to take a vet day.” I don’t think it is too serious,” Rodgers continued.
Head coach Robert Saleh told the media that Rodgers “is a kid in an old man’s body.” A minor calf injury shouldn’t set Rodgers back for long. It’s only May, and there’s still a long way to go until the Jets kick off their NFL season schedule at the Carolina Panthers.
Dianna Russini from ESPN reported that Rodgers is expected back quickly and for the recovery to be fast.
What Is Rodgers’ Injury?
As Rodgers claimed, he reportedly suffered a tweaked calf. The issue has been classified as minor, and his withdrawal from on-field drills was precautionary. He did return to the sideline for the practice session after heading quickly inside the facility and later joined the offensive group without his helmet.
Dianna Russini from ESPN, who was reporting live from OTAs, tweeted, “Aaron Rodgers injury is being called ‘minor’ source tells me. Today was about being cautious and smart.”
Rodgers is participating in offseason OTAs for the first time in two years, opting not to be present for his last couple of seasons in Green Bay. While it seems there isn’t much currently to worry about with his tweaked calf, he is 39 and, therefore, more prone to injury than he was 10 years ago.
Despite this, Rodgers has played in every NFL game since 2017 and hasn’t shown any signs of being injury prone.
What Are the Jets’ Options If Rodgers Doesn’t Play?
Rodgers makes the Jets contenders, but if he’s unable to play at any point in 2023, New York would have to resort back to Zach Wilson.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Wilson hasn’t lived up to expectations over his first two seasons, but he has the opportunity now to learn behind Rodgers.
Saleh told the New York Media that Wilson needs to be “a sponge” and learn all he can from Rodgers. “I think he’s approaching this in a way that he can grow from this. There is no doubt in my mind that Zach is going to get so much better from this experience.”
Learning from his childhood hero, Wilson will be a better pro by soaking up all the knowledge that Rodgers has gained as he heads into his 19th NFL season.
If the Jets decide that Wilson will not be the next guy up, the honor would fall to Boyle. After going undrafted in 2018, Boyle signed with the Packers as a UDFA. Prior to signing with the Jets in April, he also spent time with the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears.
Regardless, the truth is, if Rodgers ends up missing anytime in 2023, then New York’s chances of success dramatically drop. All the hype and expectations are on his shoulders.