Aaron Rodgers’ 2023 season with the New York Jets lasted just four plays — and now, the business of the NFL will have to change its marquee coverage plans for the team.
MRI results on Tuesday confirmed the four-time league MVP — whose arrival in New York this year created a frenzy of business and media activity in and around the NFL — tore his left Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the season.
The Jets are currently scheduled for six prime-time appearances and four more in the Sunday late-afternoon window — including a highly anticipated Sept. 17 matchup at Dallas and the first-ever Black Friday game on Amazon.
Some of those games can — and likely will — be shifted according to the league’s varying flex-scheduling rules. But networks’ preseason expectations to ride Rodgers to big ratings boosts have been immediately dashed.
Things are still more uncertain for the Jets themselves. Rodgers’ three-year, $112.5 million contract includes $75 million in guaranteed money, and it is as yet unclear whether the 39-year-old will use the injury as an opening to retire. Rodgers previously said he intended to play more than one season with the Jets.
The Case Against Turf
MetLife Stadium’s turf — in which Rodgers caught his foot trying to avoid a sack — is a central component in this situation. A new field featuring an updated version of FieldTurf was installed earlier this year at the facility with the specific intent on reducing injuries.
The NFL Players Association and individual players, including Rodgers, have long advocated for the removal of such artificial playing surfaces in favor of natural grass.