Aaron Rodgers has launched into an impassioned defense of Zach Wilson, his replacement at quarterback for the New York Jets as he continues his recovery from a torn Achilles.
Speaking Tuesday on the Pat McAfee show, Rodgers said Wilson is a victim of cancel culture after being maligned for his performances since being thrown into the limelight by having to fill the Rodgers void.
Wilson produced a much improved display in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs but his fumble in the fourth quarter ultimately consigned his team to defeat.
‘Zach and I talk almost every day. We’re very close and I love him, I care about him,’ Rodgers said. ‘So I’m always checking in with him to see how he’s doing. I think you’ve seen a lot of great leadership growth from him.
‘I think our society at times wants to cancel people or label people and keep that label on them regardless of any self-growth or experience that changes your perspective on life.
Aaron Rodgers publicly supported Zach Wilson amid his ongoing New York Jets struggles
Rodgers was in attendance for Jets vs. Chiefs on Sunday, his first game back since injury
‘Zach’s a young kind, he is learning and he is growing. I don’t need to pull him aside and tell him anything special.
‘The plan was a good plan and he got into a rhythm in the second quarter and made a bunch of really great throws.
‘I felt like Zach played really well and we were efficient moving the ball.’
Rodgers was in the stadium to watch his Jets team against the Chiefs, the first time he had been seen back at MetLife Stadium since his injury during the first Jets game of the season.
‘It felt great to be back in the stadium and those moments are really special,’ Rodgers said. ‘Just seeing the guys on the field and feeling the energy in the stadium, I am excited about our guys.
‘I feel like there is better energy. I feel like the energy the last couple of days has been about as good as you could ask for after a loss.’
The Jets return to action on Sunday against Denver Broncos and follow that with a home tie against the Philadelphia Eagles before their rest week.
As for Rodgers himself, he was coy over suggestions that he is targeting a return to the team this season against the odds but didn’t rule it out.
Wilson was much improved against the Chiefs but the scrutiny over him will remain in place
‘I think it’s important to have goals when you’re coming back from an injury otherwise the rehab becomes much more laborious,’ he said.
‘I have some things working against me – I am 39, one of the oldest players in the league but I haven’t been paying much attention to that stuff.
‘We’re attacking this rehab as hard as we can and we’ll see where we’re at in a couple of months.’