The New York Jets have initiated the first step towards the possible return of Aaron Rodgers by opening a 21-day practice window for the four-time MVP quarterback.
Head coach Robert Saleh announced this development, which permits Rodgers to participate in limited practices carefully designed to reduce re-injury risk. Though Rodgers is cleared for functional activities, any contact will be strictly avoided to ensure his safety.
Saleh clarified that this move is not an immediate step towards game readiness but a phase in Rodgers’ rehabilitation process. The practice drills Rodgers will undertake are tailored to mimic regular field sessions while ensuring no additional risk to his recovery. Saleh reiterated the team’s cautious approach: “Aaron is not going to do anything to put himself in harm’s way.”
Rodgers’ Injury and Recovery
Rodgers’ return to practice just 79 days post-injury, especially as he approaches his 40th birthday, is a testament to his resilience. He suffered an Achilles tear early in the season, significantly impacting the Jets’ 2023 campaign. A mid-September report mentioned a “speed bridge” applied to his torn Achilles, accelerating his recovery.
Coach Saleh lauded Rodgers’ dedication and motivation, describing him as driven and “old school” in his approach. He pointed out Rodgers’ deep connection with the team and his readiness to sacrifice for their success.
While opening the practice window is a positive development, it does not necessarily guarantee Rodgers’ return to game action within the season. The decision hinges on his health progress and the Jets’ position in the playoff race. Rodgers was cautious, focusing on assessing his leg’s response to more intense football activities.
The Jets, currently struggling in the AFC rankings, have experienced challenges in their quarterback lineup. Following Zach Wilson’s difficulties, the team resorted to Tim Boyle in their recent game. As the 2023 season unfolds, Rodgers’ potential return remains significant, with the practice window marking an important step in this journey.