New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a devastating Achilles injury early in the first quarter of the team’s 2023 Week 1 matchup against the Buffalo Bills. When he left the field, many Jets fans feared that their season would be over before it even began.

Rodgers recently spoke about that moment and the initial fear that immediately overcame him on an episode of the I Can Fly podcast.

“I was really thinking, ‘This is it,’” Rodgers said when recalling the moment he was sacked by Buffalo Bills defender Leonard Floyd. “You don’t come back from this injury.”

Rodgers also described running onto the field with the American flag as one of the “highest highs” of his NFL career because it followed an “incredible offseason” that left him feeling rejuvenated and had him falling back in love with the game of football.

While Rodgers ultimately left that game with an injury,  the Jets rallied and ended up winning 22-16 thanks to a strong defensive effort and a walk-off punt return touchdown from Xavier Gipson in overtime.

Rodgers made every effort to get back on the field at some point during the 2023 NFL season. He had experimental “speed bridge” surgery and made multiple claims that he would attempt to get back on the field in December of 2023 if the Jets were still in the playoff hunt. 

Jets loading up around Aaron Rodgers for potential Super Bowl run

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) runs onto the field to face the Buffalo Bills in the home opener at MetLife Stadium on Monday, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford.
© Danielle Parhizkaran/ / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Jets have made a concerted effort this offseason to address the holes on their roster. The organization is trying to make it clear to fans that they are doing whatever they can to load up on talent and make a championship push while Rodgers is still at the helm.

New York has bolstered their offensive line by signing former Baltimore Ravens’ guard John Simpson and star left tackle Tyron Smith, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys. They also traded for offensive tackle Morgan Moses from the Ravens. The Jets also signed wide receiver Mike Williams to join Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall as offensive weapons.

If the Jets can successfully add the right players in the 2024 NFL Draft, particularly on offense, then they have a real shot to contend for an AFC East title and a deep playoff run.

The Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers on April 25th, 2023 for a conditional 2024 second-round pick that could have become a first-round pick if Rodgers had stayed healthy. New York also swapped 2023 first-round picks with Green Bay (moving from 13th overall to 15th) and spent a 2023 second-round pick (42nd overall) and a sixth-round pick (207th overall). They received Rodgers and a 2023 fifth-round pick in return.

New York pushed their chips in by acquiring the aging signal caller, hoping to go on a deep playoff run in 2023. Instead, they finished 7-10 and Rodgers never made it back on the field for the Jets.

Aaron Rodgers has some serious unfinished business with the NFL and is on pace to be the Jets starting quarterback again in 2024.