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Aaron Rodgers encouraging Zach Wilson to “play free and confident”

The NFL plays on even after an injury to a big-name star, subscribing to the “next-man-up” narrative.

The Jets became Zach Wilson’s team once Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles.

Rodgers, though, said he is doing what he can to help his protegee. The two communicate daily, Rodgers said Friday on the Pat McAfee Show.

“I talk to Zach all the time,” Rodgers said, via Zach Braziller of The New York Post. “I love Zach. Zach’s my guy. I’m pulling for him. We talk every single day. Just want him to go out and play free and confident this week. Bill Belichick and the Patriots. Jets haven’t beaten them in a while. So, good time to end the streak.”

Rodgers watched Sunday’s loss to the Cowboys from his home in Malibu, California. Coach Robert Saleh said they hope to have the four-time league MVP in the building next week.

Rodgers said once he starts walking again, he is undecided what he will do on game days.

“I miss the guys. It’s hard to be away from them,” Rodgers said. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to get there at some point. . . . I don’t think I can be on the sidelines until I can evade guys running [into me]. I don’t know if I’ll be hanging out with Woody and Christopher [Johnson] in the owner’s box eating hot dogs. I don’t eat hot dogs.”