Aaron Rodgers, the star Jets quarterback, injured an ankle during his first regular-season series with the team and will not return to Monday night’s game against the Buffalo Bills, the team said, zapping the excitement built during the off-season after Rodgers’s arrival.
On the Jets’ third official offensive play, left tackle Duane Brown missed a block against Bills linebacker Leonard Floyd. Rodgers tried to escape, but Floyd sacked Rodgers and rolled his lower body as they both went to the ground. Rodgers stood up, but soon sat down and rocked on his back, appearing to slightly grimace in pain.
With assistance from Jets staff members, Rodgers walked to a medical blue tent but was then transported to the team locker room on the back of a cart. In the second quarter, the Jets said he would not return.
Zach Wilson, the 2021 first-round pick whose uneven play last year led to his being benched, relieved Rodgers. The possession ended with a punt, and the Bills kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive. The Jets tied the score in the second quarter after an interception and an 83-yard run by Breece Hall put them in field-goal range.
The team traded for Rodgers in April, days before the N.F.L. draft, to lift the club to playoff contention. Rodgers played with the Packers for 18 seasons, winning a Super Bowl and four Most Valuable Player Awards, but sought a trade after his relationship with the franchise had soured over his final three seasons in Green Bay.
After a promising 5-2 start in 2022, fueled by a stout defense and effective rushing attack, the Jets finished with a 7-10 record and missed the playoffs. Rodgers was expected to propel the Jets to the postseason for the first time in 12 years, the longest active drought in the N.F.L., and be the franchise’s most reliable starting quarterback since the Hall of Fame inductee Joe Namath in the 1960s and 1970s.
This is a developing story and will be updated.