Aaron Rodgers provides a post-surgery update from hospital bed on Instagram

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers posted a positive message from his hospital bed after undergoing Achilles surgery.
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets
Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets / Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Jets lost new QB Aaron Rodgers four plays into the season.

As he spun out of a Leonard Floyd tackle in the Jets' season opener, Rodgers stumbled to the ground and his calf gave a troubling shudder. There was rampant speculation all night, and then it was confirmed: Rodgers will miss the rest of the campaign with a torn Achilles.

It's hard to overstate the excitement building around Rodgers and the Jets during the preseason. New York hasn't played a meaningful football game in a long time, but with a revamped defense and a spritely collection of playmakers, Rodgers was pitched as the missing piece: the wily, accomplished vet who would elevate New York to contender status.

Well, now his future is in doubt. Rodgers is 39 years old with two guaranteed years left on his contract. Rodgers has since assured fans he will return for another season — an outcome NFL legend Dan Marino and others predicted — but it's hard to feel great about Rodgers' football future. Not many players his age can return from a severe knee injury at full capacity.

Even so, Rodgers is playing the role of the optimist. He underwent surgery to repair his Achilles on Thursday and posted a positive message from his bed.

New York Jets' Aaron Rodgers posts hopeful message from hospital bed

This goes without saying, but it's good to see Rodgers smiling and healthy in the aftermath of surgery. The Jets will hope to get him back on the sidelines and in the locker room soon. Clearly, Zach Wilson can use every bit of help.

The Jets are still talented enough to win games in Rodgers' absence, but it will be difficult with a shoddy offensive line and the NFL's least trusted QB. Garrett Wilson, Breece Hall, and Dalvin Cook can only do so much heavy-lifting. On the other hand, the Jets' defense proved its capacity for stoppage in New York's Week 1 victory. There are real pieces in place.

Without Rodgers, however, the expectations for New York are thoroughly tempered. The Jets will surely welcome Rodgers back with open arms in 2024, but as Rodgers' IG statement notes, there's a long road to recovery ahead. The Achilles is an important tendon and it will take a considerable amount of time for Rodgers to feel comfortable on his knee again.

In the meantime, the Jets' fanbase will wait patiently — and angrily — for better times.

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