Jordan Travis Has Pondered Someday Replacing Aaron Rodgers. Health Is Focus Now 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. (AP Photo/Dennis Waszak Jr.)
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. (AP Photo/Dennis Waszak Jr.)
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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Jordan Travis still needs some time to recover from the horrific leg injury that once put his football career on hold.

Patience is something Travis has perfected, especially in the past few 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 its starting quarterback.

And he has considered the possibility he could someday end up replacing the four-time NFL MVP.

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

Things were shaping up to be a dream season for Travis and the Seminoles — until Nov. 18, 2023.

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

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

Travis, who declined to comment on the perception by some the Seminoles were snubbed, had his walking boot come off a week before the NFL combine in Indianapolis in February. It was a significant 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 a while, regardless of when — or if — he was drafted.

Travis, however, didn't fear his playing career would be over.

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

“I love it, man. So, no, there's never been a doubt in my mind.”

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 his body back to health.

“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 what I look at every single thing as. God has a plan for me.”

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

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

Travis joined the five other rookie quarterbacks on the field during some drills and pretended to throw passes. He'll get there at some point.

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

With the Jets, there's no rush for Travis to play. He's expected to sit behind both Rodgers and Tyrod Taylor this season, soaking in as much as he can from the veteran quarterbacks.

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

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

“He hasn’t even scratched the surface,” Saleh said. “He was winning games, doing things that were just pure athleticism. If we could tie in the football part to it, I think we’ve got ourselves a pretty damn good football player.”

Travis has no doubts that is what he'll become. He has come too far not to achieve his ultimate goal — to become a starting quarterback in the NFL.

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