FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (ABC4 Sports) – This was supposed to be the season Zach Wilson sat back and learned from one of the greatest to ever do it.

But four plays into the 2023 season, New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon, and former BYU star Zach Wilson was thrown back into the fire.

Since Rodgers suffered the injury Monday night, Wilson has tried to give the future Hall of Famer his space.

“We’ve exchanged a little bit of texting back and forth,” Wilson said. “He’s obviously going through it, but really just showing him that I love him, and that we miss him being around.”

The Jets had high hopes this season with Rodgers leading the way, but now they’ll have to turn to Wilson, who struggled in his first two seasons coming out of BYU as the #2 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Wilson completed just 55 percent of his passes, for 4,022 yards, 15 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. But in relief of Rodgers Monday night against Buffalo, Wilson was 14 of 20 for 140 yards and a touchdown in a 22-16 overtime win over the Bills. Wilson says his confidence has never wavered.

“I truly believe in myself,” Wilson said. “I think that’s the first step to being in the NFL. You’ve got to believe in yourself first, and the rest will take care of itself.”

The best advice he has received is to just be himself on the field.

“Just playing my style of game,” Wilson said. “Playing free, loose and trusting in what my coaches have been talking about. Trusting the guys around me. I think they showed this past week how explosive and how dynamic guys are.”

Ever since the Jets signed Rodgers, the pressure was lifted off of Wilson’s shoulders. But now that it’s back, Wilson says he has learned a new way to deal with it — have fun.

“Finding that love for football,” he said. “This game can truly be so fun, and I’ve had more fun this season than I ever had. It’s been such a blast, and it’s the people that truly matter. I’ve enjoyed this group that we’ve had. I’m not saying last year wasn’t. I loved the group we had last year too, but the stresses of things sometimes can make you not love it.”

Wilson said he has learned how to handle the New York spotlight a little better since his rookie year, and knows a lot of people are counting on him as the Jets try to end a 12-year playoff drought.

“I wouldn’t say there is a lot of pressure because the guys in the locker room do a good job showing that they’ve always got my back. At the end of the day, we get to play football for a living, so we’ve got to have fun with it.”

Wilson and the Jets will take on the Dallas Cowboys next on Sunday.