When the Green Bay Packers traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, one of the things that fans wondered was when the New York media would turn on him. While the two, Rodgers and the media, are certainly still in their honeymoon phase, we are beginning to see the media becoming a little disillusioned with the idea of having a 39-year old starting quarterback. Rodgers already suffered a minor leg injury during OTA’s, a set of workouts in which he has not participated in over the last two years. Apparently that one little scare was enough for The New York Post to write about how Zach Wilson needs to be ready this year.
The New York Media Does Not Think Aaron Rodgers Will Be Able to Play a Full Season
Of course, Zach Wilson is the young Jets quarterback who will be learning and sitting behind Rodgers this year (and maybe next year, too). In nine games last year, Wilson had a 54.5% completion percentage while throwing for 1,688 yards, six touchdowns, and seven interceptions. In other words, he needs work. The Jets are hopeful that a year (or two) of learning from one of the best quarterbacks to ever do it will get him to where he needs to be before taking over the starting role again.
The media, though, seems to think that he needs to get to that point sooner rather than later. A recent article in The New York Post stated:
“The Jets will go as Rodgers goes in 2023. That means for many Jets fans that Wilson is now an afterthought.
“But, like it or not, Wilson is the second-most-important player on the team. The man with jersey No. 2 is also the No. 2 quarterback and with a 39-year-old quarterback, the Jets are likely going to need Wilson at some point. Rodgers already has dealt with a calf injury this spring.
“The Jets may need Wilson out of the bullpen for a play, a series, a game or a stretch of games. That might cause panic with Jets fans, but Wilson has had a good spring after losing his job.”
Now, the point of view from which they are coming makes sense in a way. To a team that is not used to even average quarterback play, the idea of having a 39-year old quarterback, even if it is Aaron Rodgers, may come with some initial misgivings. That being said: it’s Aaron Rodgers!
Aaron Rodgers Has Always Played Through Injuries
Let us not forget that Rodgers played for a good portion of last season with a broken thumb on his throwing hand. In 2018, he broke his leg in Week One, came out for x-rays, then went back in and led the Packers back to a victory over the Chicago Bears. Then he played the rest of the season on that broken leg. The only significant time he has missed over the course of his career was when he broke his collar bone in 2013 and 2017.
Packers fans may have been disillusioned with Rodgers’ attitude over the past few seasons, and perhaps he was not has bought into the system as he said he was in 2022, but to suggest that anything short of broken bones that will, literally, not allow his arm to move will keep him off the field is insane. Sure, he tweaked his calf. If that happened during the season, he would not hesitate to go back on the field.
Zach Wilson Will Not Be Magically Good in Just a Few Short Weeks
Oh, and the notion that Wilson will be ready after a few short weeks of working with Rodgers? Stop it. Wilson has been in the league for two years. If the Jets think he needs up to two seasons backing up Rodgers to get to where they want him to be, a few nice throws during non-contact OTA’s while wearing a red jersey are not going to get him up to speed.
As much as the Packers and Rodgers “needed” to part ways, the Jets NEEDED Rodgers. Wilson is nowhere close to ready, and it is highly doubtful he will be this season.