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The New York Jets will go the rest of the 2023 campaign without their offseason prize in Aaron Rodgers, who suffered a season-ending Achilles tear just four plays into his tenure with his new club Monday night. While we know that Rodgers won't be on the field for the team this year, the question now centers around whether or not he'll ever step on an NFL field again

After all, this is a grueling injury to come back from for any player, let alone a 19-year veteran who is set to turn 40 later this year. With that in mind, it is fair to wonder if Rodgers opts for retirement instead of clawing his way back onto the field. When asked about that possibility during his Wednesday press conference, head coach Robert Saleh said he hasn't talked about the future with Rodgers, but added he would be surprised if this is how his story ends. 

"I haven't gone down that road with him," said Saleh. "I mean, I'd be shocked if this is the way that he's going to go out. At the same time, for him, he's working through a whole lot of headspace, things that he needs to deal with and that would be the last thing I talk to him about."  

Despite not contributing with his play, Saleh did say he wants Rodgers to be with the team throughout the season as he goes through his rehab. 

"I think it's very important," he said. "I think it's important for him. Mental health and healing, I think it's very important. But his presence, his words, his verbiage. Like I've said, he's as much a football coach as he is a player. Just having his presence, his thoughts, his words, and his leadership is, I think, anyone would want that."

With Rodgers sidelined, the Jets turn back to Zach Wilson, whom Saleh reiterated will be the team's starter going forward. While they've continued to show faith in Wilson, it is unquestionably a gut punch to have a player of Rodgers' magnitude go down so quickly into what was a year filled with optimism of a deep playoff run. 

"I don't know if there is anything to say," Saleh said when asked what his message to the team was moving forward without Rodgers. "It sounds cliche but it's next man up. Nobody cares. Nobody cares that you've lost a player. At the end of the day, Sunday's coming. We've got to put our best foot forward and do everything we can to put ourselves in the best position to be successful. That's the harsh part of the business, but I think the guys understand that." 

The post-Rodgers Jets will be on the road this week when they travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys