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Highly-anticipated Mahomes-Rodgers matchup may never happen now following injury to Jets QB

The football gods just don’t seem to want this to happen.

Again, NFL fans were salivating over the prospect of seeing Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers match up for the first time. And again, fans have been disappointed as one of the quarterbacks won’t be available when their teams meet this season.

Rodgers‘ season-ending Achilles rupture rules him out of the Oct. 1 game between the Jets and the Chiefs at MetLife Stadium. It is the third time since 2019 that Rodgers and Mahomes were slated to meet during the regular season — and the fourth time injury or illness has ruled out one of the MVP signal-callers.

The previous close calls

The first MahomesRodgers matchup was set to take place during Week 8 of the 2019 NFL season, in a “Sunday Night Football” broadcast. But Mahomes was sidelined with a knee injury at the time, and the Chiefs fell 31-24 at Arrowhead Stadium.

Kansas City and Green Bay played once more during the 2021 season, but this time it was Rodgers who couldn’t play after he tested positive for COVID-19. Mahomes outdueled Jordan Love during the Week 9 battle and the Chiefs won 13-7.

This year, Kansas City and New York were slated to meet in Week 4 — which, in theory, reduced the possibility that one of Mahomes or Rodgers would be unavailable. But no one expected Rodgers to tear his Achilles tendon just four plays into the season, rendering him unable to play for the remainder of 2023.

Will Mahomes and Rodgers ever square off?

In order for these two quarterbacks — with a combined six MVP awards between them — to get another crack at one another, the Chiefs and Jets will have to finish in the same position in their divisions in 2023. Seeing as Kansas City is the firm favorite to win another AFC West title, it is likely that New York will have to win the AFC East to be awarded this regular season matchup in 2024.

The Jets have not won their division since 2002.

The other scenario in which these two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks could go toe-to-toe would be in the 2024 postseason. But that assumes 39-year-old Rodgers will return next year — and it also assumes Mahomes stays upright himself. This means our latest chance to see this enticing matchup might have been the last one.

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