Future NFL hall of famer Aaron Rodgers was named as the Jets’ most inspirational teammate due to his efforts to rehab a devastating Achilles injury that ended his season after just four snaps.
The Jets presented their star quarterback with the Dennis Byrd Award as part of their team awards ceremony earlier this week.
“Well, that’s the whole thing. Most of these awards are not necessarily what’s done on the football field,” head coach Robert Saleh said before Friday’s practice. “These guys are with each other all the time. They’re dealing with the building, they’re dealing with every single department, and Aaron’s presence, I’ve said it a million times, he loves his teammates, his teammates love him. He’s so intentional with how he approaches everyone in the building, he’s very thoughtful in the way he does things, and he’s a tremendous human, he really is, and well deserving of the award.”
Rodgers, 40, attempted to return to the field by the end of the season and told reporters that he felt well enough to play. The Jets ultimately decided to keep him on the sideline after their playoff hopes faded, however.
The award comes just days after the years-long feud between Rodgers and late night television host Jimmy Kimmel escalated to new heights after Kimmel threatened the Super Bowl champion with a lawsuit. While speaking with ESPN’s Pat McAfee, Rodgers joked that Kimmel was probably bothered by the pending release of the Epstein client list.
The alleged comedian responded by calling Rodgers a “tinfoil hatter” and suggested that he would be filing a lawsuit over the joke.
David Bakhtiari, a former All Pro NFL lineman and teammate of Rodgers, leaped to his former quarterback’s defense by mocking Kimmel’s flustered response. “Tell me you’re on the Jeffrey Epstein client list, without telling me you’re on the Jeffrey Epstein client list,” Bakhtiari wrote.