Originally, Week 17 was supposed to be a matchup of premier quarterbacks when Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns hosted Aaron Rodgers and the New York Jets. We knew that wasn't going to be the case when Watson was ruled out for the year but Rodgers had been trying to get back on the field.
An Achilles injury on just his fourth snap with the Jets put Rodgers on the sideline but he's been practicing as of late. That led to some concern that he could be under center for Cleveland's final home game of the year which will be in Week 17 as they host the Jets.
That won't be the case, however, as Rodgers indicated he won't be back now that the playoffs are out of the question for New York. The Jets have been starting Zach Wilson but he suffered a concussion, meaning Trevor Siemian could get the start if Wilson isn't cleared in time. That helps Cleveland's chances in a major way, as does the fact that C.J. Stroud could miss their Week 16 contest as well.
For Siemian, this is his second stint with the Jets. He was a backup in 2019 but was replaced by Joe Flacco, who is currently starting for the Browns. Flacco started nine games for the Jets over three years but never had the success he's had with the Browns. He's got them on the edge of punching a playoff ticket and even if they can't secure that spot this weekend, they might be able to do so with a win over Flacco's former team.
Accomplishing that seems a lot more plausible with either Wilson or Siemian under center than it would with Rodgers. Having said that, this is the right call for Rodgers who needs to ensure he's 100 percent healthy before stepping back on the field.