Aaron Rodgers injures ankle in first series with Jets, carted off field

Newly acquired Jets QB ruled out for Monday night game
New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers tended to on field after injury, Sept. 11, 2023
Posted at 9:26 PM, Sep 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-11 21:47:15-04

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Aaron Rodgers was injured on his fourth snap in his debut with the New York Jets, needing to be carted from the sideline with an ankle injury Monday night.

Rodgers was ruled out for the rest of the game against Buffalo, the Jets announced midway through the second quarter. X-rays were negative, the team added.

Rodgers was sacked by the Bills' Leonard Floyd and sat on the MetLife Stadium turf, where he appeared to reach down at his leg before trainers attended to him. He stood up after a few moments but needed help getting to New York's sideline.

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers looks to pass during first quarter vs. Buffalo Bills, Sept. 11, 2023
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass during the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.

The 39-year-old Rodgers was taken to the blue medical tent to be examined — and then sat on a cart. Halfway to the locker room, he hopped off the cart and limped inside.

Zach Wilson replaced him.

Before the game, Rodgers jogged onto the field with an American flag in hand and received his first official welcome from Jets fans.

He was introduced along with the Jets starters on offense by hip-hop artist and actor Method Man — accompanied by a laser light show — and got huge applause from a crowd that has anticipated this moment since the four-time MVP was acquired in April.

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers runs onto field carrying American flag, Sept. 11, 2023
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers carries an American flag onto the field before a "Monday Night Football" game against the Buffalo Bills, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J.

The excitement was soon replaced by a nervous murmur in the stands when Rodgers was hurt 3:45 into the game. He handed off once and threw two incomplete passes before the sack that sent him to the sideline in pain.

New York acquired Rodgers, the No. 15 overall pick and a fifth-rounder in this year's draft, from Green Bay on April 26. In exchange, the Packers got the 13th overall selection, a second-rounder, a sixth-rounder and a conditional 2024 second-round pick that could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of New York's plays this season.

Rodgers, who spent his first 18 seasons with Green Bay, raised expectations for the Jets and their fan base when he said he expects to win in New York and pointed out during his introductory news conference that the team's only Super Bowl trophy from the 1968 season looks "lonely."

He gives the Jets their most accomplished quarterback since Brett Favre, who was acquired from Green Bay in 2008 — clearing the way for Rodgers to become the Packers' signal caller.

Rodgers, who has repeatedly said he won't be one-and-done with the Jets, agreed in July to a restructured contract that gives him $75 million in fully guaranteed money over this season and next. It amounts to a nearly $35 million pay cut from the deal he had with Green Bay in which he was set to make $110 million guaranteed.