Is Aaron Rodgers Playing This Season? Jets QB Puts End to Return Talks

On the first New York Jets offensive series of the season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles. Since then, things have been up in the air regarding whether or not he will be able to return this season.

Will Aaron Rodgers Return This Season?

Rodgers had surgery two days after the injury in Week 1 and reportedly had a “speed bridge” procedure designed to speed up the rehab process.

A return from an Achilles injury usually takes 8-12 months, and the fastest recovery the NFL has seen is running back Cam Akers, who had surgery and came back in fewer than six months.

The Jets officially designated Rodgers to return from injured reserve on Nov. 29, opening a three-week window during which he would either need to be placed on New York’s active roster or be forced to stick on the injured list for the rest of the season.

He returned to practice on Nov. 29 after he underwent surgery on Sept. 14, and increased his workload last week.

Recently, Rodgers ruled out a 2023 return.

“I think the whole time it’s been hoping that we’re still in it,” Rodgers said during his weekly spot on The Pat McAfee Show. “It was unrealistic to think that I would be 100%, to be medically cleared at any point during the regular season.

“I do feel like in the next three to four weeks it would be very possible to get to 100%. Obviously, not there. The conversation was away from the 100% medical clearance to my willingness to play. And that’s never been the problem for me.”

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With Zach Wilson in the concussion protocol, there was talk that Rodgers, pending medical clearance, might be tempted to play against the Washington Commanders.

The Jets were eliminated from playoff contention after last week’s loss at Miami, coupled with victories by Houston and Cleveland. Thus, Rodgers likely will not take the field.

“Still, in a hypothetical world, if we [would have won on] Sunday, then I’d need to go through a week of 11-on-11 practice, taking team reps to see how I respond to that and how much I can move in the pocket, seeing if I can get out of the pocket,” he said.

“There still would have been a conversation. It wouldn’t have been, ‘Hey you are activated and you are for sure playing.’ Being a competitor, I would have pushed it as fast as I could this week, but it still would have been a conversation …”

Head coach Robert Saleh also shut down the proposition of Rodgers playing on Sunday.

“Aaron wants to play. Let’s not confuse that one,” Saleh said. “That’s why he’s been working so hard to get back. His willingness to play, even if he’s not 100%, is at the forefront of his mind. He wants to go, but until he’s actually cleared, I’m not going to talk about it with anybody.”

Rodgers was asked if he would play beyond the 2024 NFL season, or if it would be his “last dance.”

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“I don’t think so,” Rodgers said. “I felt like, when I came here, that I got kind of a renewed passion and love for the game. Everything has been amazing here. The people I’ve gotten to work with, the relationships I’ve gotten from my teammates, and the amazing men and women that work here at 1 Jets Drive has been really special.”

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more!

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