Jets fans will finally get a glimpse of what the team’s starting offense will look like on Saturday as No. 8 hits the field.
Aaron Rodgers, who hasn’t played in the first three preseason games for Gang Green, will be making his Jets debut against the Giants in the preseason finale at MetLife Stadium, a source confirmed on Sunday.
The four-time league MVP has not participated in any preseason action since 2018, when every team played at least four exhibition games. Throughout training camp, Rodgers, 39, has taken part in joint practices against both the Panthers and Buccaneers. But he has watched from the sidelines as Zach Wilson has started preseason games against the Browns, Panthers and Buccaneers.
Saturday’s game against the Giants will serve as the final tune-up before the regular season primetime opener against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football on Sept. 11.
Starting Rodgers in the preseason finale doesn’t come as a complete surprise as Jets coach Robert Saleh hinted at possibly playing Rodgers on several occasions.
“Oh, I don’t care,” Rodgers said about playing in the preseason. “I haven’t played in a while, and I’ll be ready either way.”
Saturday against the Giants will serve as a dress rehearsal for the Jets offense with many of the team’s starters expected to play. That could include wide receiver Garrett Wilson, the reigning NFL offensive rookie of the year, who has not played in any preseason games.
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It remains to be seen if running backs Dalvin Cook and Breece Hall will also play against the Giants. The Jets signed Cook last week, but he has not practiced with the team. Hall just practiced for the first time last week as he is returning from an ACL tear he suffered last October.
The Jets offensive line has been a significant concern throughout the preseason as left Duane Brown continues to be on the physically unable to perform list after offseason shoulder surgery. Guards Laken Tomlinson (leg) and Alijah Vera-Tucker (ankle) also missed practice last week and neither played against the Buccaneers.
Rodgers, who was traded to the Jets in April after 15 seasons as Green Bay’s quarterback — including a Super Bowl win after the 2010 season — downplayed his concern about the O-line last week.
“It’s August 16, so we got some time,” Rodgers said after Wednesday’s practice. “I don’t get concerned heavily about things I don’t have a huge role in.
“That might change at some point. I might say, ‘Hey, I need the five that are going to be in there to be in there with me for a solid week.’ But I don’t think we are at that point yet because I don’t think those five guys have earned those spots.”
Saleh took aim at the struggling unit during a film session that was aired as part of the second episode of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” training camp reality show.
“You can have a Hall of Fame quarterback. You can have two $10 million-plus receivers, you can have a reigning offensive rookie of the year [Garrett Wilson]. You can have all kinds of skills in the running back room. None of it f–king matters until the big boys up front change who the f–k we are.”