The New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers is continuing his unprecedented recovery from the Achilles injury he suffered in the season opener against the Buffalo Bills. Rodgers, only 11 weeks removed from what was supposed to be a season-ending surgery, returned to Jets’ practice on Wednesday.
Rodgers practiced in a limited capacity, but the move opens a 21-day window in which the Jets can activate the 39-year-old player from Injured Reserve and make him eligible to play again this season.
Rodgers previously stated on multiple occasions that he intends to return on the field in 2023 if the Jets are in a position to play for a playoff spot and he feels ready. He also said that he is targeting the December 24 game against the Washington Commanders for his comeback.
In case Rodgers ends up playing against the Commanders, it would be the fastest any NFL player returned from an Achilles injury. While there is a concern that this might be too soon, Jets’ head coach Robert Saleh said he trusts Rodgers’ judgment.
“Aaron is not going to do anything to put himself in harm’s way,” said Saleh during a press conference on Wednesday.
After Rodgers went down, the Jets turned to last season’s starter Zach Wilson as his replacement. While the New York team managed to go 4-3 in their first seven games, Wilson struggled and ended up being benched following a three-game losing streak. Veteran Tim Boyle took over for last week’s game against the Miami Dolphins, but the Jets delivered another underwhelming performance and suffered a 13-34 loss.
With the way the Jets have been playing lately, it is hard to see them remaining alive in the playoff race until Rodgers returns. But they now have added motivation to at least try.