Aaron Rodgers injury means Jets will likely be flexed out of prime time: Here are the games that could change

After the Jets traded for Aaron Rodgers in April, the team instantly became one of the hottest television attractions on the NFL schedule. After only being given one prime-time game in 2022, the NFL gave the Jets FIVE prime-time games for 2023. 

The excitement around the Jets came to a brutal halt on Monday night, though, after Rodgers suffered a season-ending injury during New York’s 22-16 win over the Bills. During his fourth play on the field, Rodgers ended up tearing his Achilles, which will sideline him for the rest of the year. 

With Rodgers now out, the Jets become a much less attractive television option, so it won’t be surprising if the they get flexed out of a few of their prime-time games.

So which games could get moved? Great question.  

First, let’s take a quick look at the NFL’s flex-schedule procedures:

  • Thursday night flexing. The NFL is allowed to flex up to two Thursday games, but only between Weeks 13 and 17. Any game that gets flexed must be done with 28 days notice. This policy was just put into place this year
  • Sunday night flexing. The NFL is allowed to flex two Sunday night games between Weeks 5 and 10. After that, the league is allowed to flex games at its discretion between Weeks 11 and 17. 
  • Monday night flexing. The NFL is allowed to flex up to two Monday games, but only games that take place between Week 12 and Week 17.

So where does this leave the Jets? Let’s take a look at their remaining prime-time games. 

  • Week 4 (SNF): Chiefs at Jets. The NFL isn’t allowed to flex games until Week 5, so this one is definitely sticking. 
  • Week 9 (MNF): Chargers at Jets. The NFL isn’t allowed to flex Monday games until Week 12, so this one is also definitely staying put. 

Under NFL rules, the two games above can’t be flexed, so the Jets will definitely be getting at least two more prime-time games. However, the Jets do have two late games that CAN be flexed, so let’s take a look at those. 

First, they have a Sunday night game on Nov. 12. 

  • Week 10 (SNF): Jets at Raiders. Unless the Jets go on a roll, it’s hard to see this game staying put. For Sunday night flexing, the NFL has to give 12 days notice when changing a game, so the league will have to decide by Oct. 31 whether to flex this game. 
  • Week 10 options: One attractive option here could be Packers at Steelers, which would give the league two of its most iconic franchises on Sunday night. The Giants and Cowboys also play in Week 10 and the NFL could put them on Sunday night again, but they might be hesitant to do that after what happened in Week 1 with the Cowboys winning 40-0. A sneaky good option could be 49ers at Jaguars, which is currently scheduled for 1 p.m. ET. 

After the game against the Raiders, the Jets are scheduled to close out the Thursday night slate with a game in Cleveland. 

  • Week 17 (TNF): Jets at Browns. There’s a good chance this game could give us the first Thursday flex in NFL history. Since the league has to give 28 days notice to flex a game, it would have to announce by Nov. 30 whether this game is going to be changed. 
  • Week 17 options: It’s impossible to say right now what games might look attractive in Week 17, but the Bengals and Chiefs are scheduled to play that week. However, it’s unlikely that would be moved to Thursday, so the best option here could end up being Dolphins at Ravens. 

To rehash: The Jets have four prime-time games left, but two of them can’t be flexed, so they’ll definitely be playing in at least two more night games. The Jets do have two games that CAN be flexed and it won’t be surprising at all if that happens. 

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