Jordan Travis has thought about replacing Aaron Rodgers at some point. Health is now the focus for Jets rookie QB

New York Jets quarterback Jordan Travis speaks to reporters during the team's rookie minicamp in Florham Park, N.J., on Saturday, May 4, 2024.
New York Jets quarterback Jordan Travis speaks to reporters during the team’s rookie minicamp in Florham Park, N.J., on Saturday, May 4, 2024.Dennis Waszak Jr./AP

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Jordan Travis still needs some time to recover from the gruesome leg injury that once put his football career on hold.

Patience is something Travis has perfected, especially in recent months.

The former Florida State star, who was taken by the New York Jets in the fifth round of the NFL draft last week, will spend his rookie season on a team with Aaron Rodgers as the starting quarterback.

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And he has considered the possibility that he could one day replace the four-time NFL MVP.

“Yes sir, I think about that a lot,” Travis said Saturday after the second day of rookie minicamp practice for the Jets. “But right now I’m just focused on my feet, just getting healthy, getting everyone around me better and being a great teammate.”

It was shaping up to be a dream season for Travis and the Seminoles – until November 18, 2023.

Florida State was playing North Alabama when Travis, a do-it-all quarterback with tremendous athleticism, scrambled and fought for extra yards on a run. His left leg rolled under a defender, twisting his ankle awkwardly.

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His leg was put in a cast and he was carted off the field, with his broken left leg/ankle ending his season and college career. Travis had led the Seminoles to an 11-0 record and they won the following week without him, along with the ACC Championship. Florida State finished 13-0, but was the first undefeated Power Five team not to make the playoff.

Travis, who declined to comment on the perception by some that the Seminoles were snubbed, had his walking boot removed a week before the NFL game in Indianapolis in February. It was an important step toward recovery, but the injury still clouded his path to the pros. A once Heisman hopeful had a serious injury that would keep him off the field for a while, regardless of when – or if – he was called up.

However, Travis had no fear that his playing career would be over.

“No sir. Never,” he said. “I mean, I like setbacks. I love waking up every day and having to make a choice. It just makes the story a lot cooler. I’ve always said that, from the day I broke my leg until now.

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“I love it, dude. So no, I never had any doubts.”

Travis, who has leaned on his family and faith, broke down when he got the call from the Jets last Saturday that they had selected him in the fifth round – pick No. 171 overall.

It was an emotional release from all the long days and nights of working on his body to get healthy again.

“I mean, it’s a dream come true at the end of the day,” Travis said. “It’s an opportunity for me to get better. That’s how I look at every thing. God has a plan for me.”

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Travis worked in the trainer’s area during part of the Jets’ rookie minicamp practices. He joked that he was trying to get into the stretch line before one of the sessions before the Jets pulled him out.

“I’m trying to get out of there,” he said with a big smile.

Travis joined the five other starting quarterbacks on the field during some drills and faked passes. He’ll get there at some point.

“I’m just grateful to have a ball in my hand again and a helmet on my head,” Travis said.

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With the Jets, Travis is in no rush to play. He is expected to sit behind both Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor this season and enjoy the veteran quarterbacks as much as possible.

“He’s a great athlete,” coach Robert Saleh said. “We feel like he’s like a ball of clay.”

Saleh said the team will continue to monitor Travis through his rehabilitation, which is expected to continue through voluntary workouts, organized team activities and the mandatory mini-camp. The hope, however, is that the rookie will be ready to go by the start of training camp in July.

“He hasn’t even scratched the surface yet,” Saleh said. “He won matches and did things that were purely athletic. If we could link the football part to it, I think we have a damn good footballer.”

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Travis has no doubt that he will be. He has come too far not to reach his ultimate goal: becoming a starting quarterback in the NFL.

“Yes sir,” Travis said. “100 percent, yes sir.”

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