Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending injury impacted the entire New York Jets offense, but perhaps none more than Garrett Wilson.
The second-year wide receiver was primed for a breakout season with Rodgers under center, and the four-time MVP quarterback apologized to Wilson after tearing his Achilles on the team’s first drive of a Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills.
“At halftime I just went in to check on him in the training room and just make sure I gave him a hug and told him I love him,” Wilson said on 98.7 FM ESPN New York. “It really hurt my heart. He told me ‘sorry, kid’ and said he loved me back and that was it. Just truly heartbroken.”
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ICYMI on @BartAndHahn:@GarrettWilson_V discusses how he’s feeling after last night and his interaction with Aaron Rodgers in the locker room at halftime.
“It really hurt my heart. He told me ‘sorry kid'”. pic.twitter.com/dK0r24S7Ax
Wilson and Rodgers had spent much of the offseason developing a connection through training camp and the preseason. The wideout will now be catching passes from Zach Wilson.
With Rodgers sidelined for nearly all of Monday’s win over the Bills, Wilson caught five passes for 34 yards and a touchdown, making an improbable one-handed grab on a poor pass for the score.
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Wilson, the 10th overall pick in the 2022 draft, spent his rookie year catching passes from a combination of Zach Wilson, Mike White and Joe Flacco. He finished the year with 83 catches for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns in 17 games.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh made it clear on Tuesday that Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, would be the team’s starting quarterback moving forward despite a rough start to his career in 2021 and 2022.
“I want to make it very clear, Zach’s our quarterback,” Saleh told reporters. “We have a lot of faith in Zach. We’re rolling with Zach and excited for him.”
And while Saleh confirmed the team would look into quarterbacks to add to the roster, he said no one they add will challenge the third-year signal-caller for the starting job.
“Under no circumstances is any of this a competition,” Saleh said. “This is Zach’s team and we’re rolling with Zach.”
The BYU product completed 14 of 21 passes for 140 yards and one touchdown against one interception in a 22-16 overtime win against the Bills in Week 1. He’s going to have to be far better moving forward if New York hopes to finish the year with a winning record.
Gang Green’s acquisition of Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers during the offseason boosted the team’s championship aspirations mightily, but with Wilson back under center, those expectations have softened considerably.
The Jets will take on the Dallas Cowboys in Week 2 on Sunday at AT&T Stadium.
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