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Rodgers feared end of NFL career after Achilles injury

Nick Cammett / Getty Images Sport / Getty

New York Jets quarterback​​​​​​​ Aaron Rodgers admitted that he didn't think he'd play again after suffering an Achilles injury last year.

"I was really thinking, 'This is it. You don't come back from this injury,'" Rodgers recently said on the "I Can Fly" podcast.

Rodgers posted a decorated 18-year career with the Green Bay Packers before being traded to the Jets during the 2023 offseason. The four-time NFL MVP, who considered retirement multiple times over his final years with the Packers, said he fell "back in love with the game" in New York.

"I had this incredible offseason experience in a new city, in a new town, with new teammates, a new organization, an owner for the first time," the 40-year-old said.

"It was absolutely beautiful and special and deep and rich and yummy and just incredible," he added.

After an exciting 2023 offseason, Rodgers made his long-waited Jets debut on Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills last September but tore his left Achilles tendon four snaps into the game.

"One of the most heartbreaking nights of my life, when I played four plays. Talk about an ego death," he said.

Rodgers underwent an innovative surgery on his torn left Achilles to speed up his recovery and was a limited participant at practice in late December. With New York eliminated from playoff contention in the season's final stretch, however, the veteran signal-caller was shut down for the remainder of the campaign.

The Jets, who haven't made the playoffs since the 2010 season, made aggressive moves this offseason, singing receiver Mike Williams and left tackle Tyron Smith, among others. New York also traded for edge rusher Haason Reddick and right tackle Morgan Moses.

"I'm excited about playing again," Rodgers said. "I love playing. I fell back in love with the game and then I had it taken away after four plays. I miss being out there, I love competing."

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