New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers sounds all-in on taking snaps during Saturday’s preseason finale against the New York Giants despite the threat of possible injury.
“There’s always that risk-reward,” Rodgers said Tuesday about possibly suffering a physical setback during a meaningless exhibition game, per Rich Cimini of ESPN. “I think over the years it just hasn’t made sense based on a number of different factors. I used to enjoy playing in the preseason back in my younger years, just to kind of maybe take that first hit or feel the nerves on the first drive. So, I look forward to being out there.”
Rodgers last appeared in a preseason game with the Green Bay Packers in 2018 and has encountered multiple calf-related scares since he officially joined the Jets in late April. Jets head coach Robert Saleh nevertheless insisted earlier on Tuesday he’s starting Rodgers against the Giants on Saturday because one “can’t coach scared” or “play scared.”
Rodgers added Tuesday he “was already leaning toward asking [Saleh] to play” against the Giants so the 39-year-old could continue building chemistry with new teammates ahead of the Week 1 matchup versus the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11.
“We’ve got to get a lot done the next two weeks,” Rodgers explained, according to Jack Bell of the Jets’ website. “When the speed amps up, the urgency amps up…There’s not a wasted rep indoors or out on the field. You’ve got to make every rep count.”
Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett served as Rodgers’ OC in Green Bay from 2019 through the 2021 season, so the future Hall of Famer is already quite comfortable with his current playbook. Despite that reality, Rodgers is expected to complete more than a single offensive series against the Giants, so nervous Jets fans should be prepared to hold their breaths throughout Saturday’s encounter until their new QB1 exchanges a helmet for a headset.