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Aaron Rodgers says he feels ‘guilt’ for NY Jets player’s fate

Aaron Rodgers, NY Jets, Robert Saleh, Return
Aaron Rodgers, Robert Saleh, New York Jets, Getty Images

Aaron Rodgers admits to feeling guilt over the New York Jets’ quarterback situation

Aaron Rodgers has never felt guilt for a day in his life, before or after joining the New York Jets.

Or at least, that’s what the Rodgers-hating media would have you believe.

That’s not what he told The Pat McAfee Show, though. In fact, Rodgers feels guilt about something that isn’t his fault at all: the effect of his injury on Zach Wilson.

Rodgers explained, “I have some personal guilt… and I’m frustrated I haven’t been able to play. Zach would’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow without pressure on him this season.”

Of course, Rodgers didn’t ask to tear his Achilles tendon. Nor is it all that likely that he told the Jets not to bring in a different backup quarterback (although it’s possible he vouched for Wilson). Truthfully, the responsibility for this situation falls on the shoulders of both Joe Douglas and Robert Saleh.

Still, the personal responsibility Rodgers feels for the Jets is heartening for his prospects of returning to the team.

In fact, Rodgers all but guaranteed that he will be returning in 2024 and perhaps beyond.

“I think there was a thought immediately after the injury that I was done and I’m too old for this [stuff] [but] I’ve gotten a look at retirement and I’m not ready for that,” he said. “I still feel like I’ve got a few good years left and look forward to getting a chance to show that.”

This is the competitive spirit in Rodgers, the part of him that loves playing football. A player who speaks like this is not ready to hang up the cleats. A player who feels guilty for getting injured doesn’t turn around and retire.

Now that the Jets are all but out of playoff contention (1% chance, per ESPN), perhaps Rodgers will slow down his rehab process. Taking his time to heal is still better for both him and the Jets. He’s still ahead of the normal healing curve, though.

Overall, Rodgers’ most recent appearance with McAfee shows a somewhat different side of him: the side that cares about his teammates and feels responsibility for them. It’s a bright spot in an otherwise dismal time for the Jets’ franchise.

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8 months ago

I pleaded for Woody and JD to stay away from AR all offseason. Stick with White, build this team organically, sink all that money and draft capital (first round swap and at that time a FRP) into the OL. This team was on the rise. Now, we have no QB plan whatsoever, no OL (again!), another lost season, and another crucial year taken from a really good defense’s short window. At season’s end, before the whole AR affair, the entire offense had lobbied for White. What a mistake this short-term fix was. Frankly, it’s not surprising when you think about the Johnson’s ownership tenure here. He’s made this organization a perennial loser.

On the bright side, as an eternal Jet fan, I’m stoked to see how Boyle fares. I hope he gets a legit shot, a string of starts. He looked fantastic in the preseason. It took this braintrust much too long to sit Zach, ‘good kid’ or not.

Last edited 8 months ago by Rich