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Aaron Rodgers 'heartbroken' after season-ending Achilles injury, vows return: 'I shall rise yet again'

The football world has had nearly 48 hours to process what happened to Aaron Rodgers on Monday night in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

That was enough time for Rodgers to craft a response of his own after suffering a season-ending Achilles tear on the fourth snap of his Jets career.

"Thank you to every person that has reached out, called, texted, DM'd, connected through a friend, etc.," Rodgers wrote on Instagram. "It has meant a ton to me, and I'll try and get back to all of you soon.

"I'm completely heartbroken and moving through all of the emotions, but deeply touched and humbled by the support and love. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I begin the healing process today.

"The night is darkest before the dawn. And I shall rise yet again. Proud of my guys, 1-0."

It's been a somber two days for Gang Green, even after the Jets managed to claw back and walk away with an overtime victory over the division-rival Buffalo Bills. The loss of Rodgers meant a dampening of the Jets' sky-high hopes, even if there is nearly an entire season left to play.

Rodgers' injury instantly became national news, reaching far beyond the confines of MetLife Stadium in a ripple effect that touched a number of his closest former teammates. David Bakhtiari, Rodgers' former blindside protector in Green Bay, instantly worried his old pal may have suffered the worst possible injury when watching on television, admitting this week "I was just like, 'Yeah, I hope it's not that one."

"I was just gutted for him," Bakhtiari said, via "I know all that he was dealing with and how excited he was, and I know how much the game means to him. For it to go that quick, and especially with that type of injury, having to bounce back from that, it's going to be tough. But he's a tough dude.

"Tough times don't last. Tough people do."

The ripples didn't stop at Wisconsin. They managed to reach another former teammate who was cruising through the air at 35,000 feet.

"Really tough, man. I really didn't want to take to social media, because I spoke to him directly, and reached out immediately," Raiders receiver Davante Adams said. "I was watching on the plane as we were on our way over here. And it's like a horrible movie, you don't want to see the main character go down like that, all all, let alone as early as what it was. And I know he was excited, and I was definitely excited to see him ball out. I know he was feeling rejuvenated and excited about the opportunity to work with a really good team, so it sucks. 

"That's my guy, though, so I let him know basically that I'm here for him in whatever way I can. I don't know what I can do to make him feel better at this point, especially obviously with us being in the season now as well, but yeah, like I said it sucks, and just praying that his mental is in a good spot right now and he continues to overcome it, and obviously that team as well."

Even Rodgers' former coach in Green Bay -- whom the quarterback actively decided to part with earlier this year -- understood the gravity of the moment one day after the Packers began their season with a win.

"Yeah it's tough, I feel for him, and never want to see anybody go through that," Matt LaFleur said. "I think any time you have a player of his caliber not playing the game of football, it's bad for our game. So thoughts are certainly with him, and I know I've got so much respect for him, I've said it a million times how tough he is, the competitor he is, and I knew when he went down, back down on the ground it had to have been something serious, because I've seen him play through so much."

Like Bakhtiari, LaFleur held on to some optimism regarding Rodgers' outlook. If anyone can bounce back from such a significant injury, it's Rodgers.

"I would think that somebody of his caliber, that he would have no problem coming back from it," LaFleur said of Rodgers, who turns 40 in December. "I really believe it, I know the type of worker he is, and so it's just going to be a choice of whether or not he wants to continue to play or not."

It sounds as if Rodgers intends to return. After all, his New York narrative was only just beginning when it met a brutally abrupt pause Monday.

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