“Want to hear something intriguing?
Aaron Rodgers is still considering playing for the New York Jets this season, as officially stated.
Teammates spotted him on Monday at the Jets’ complex in Florham Park, undergoing treatment for his left Achilles tendon, which got injured less than three months ago, limiting him to only four games in his 19th NFL season.
Rodgers told Pat McAfee on his ESPN radio show on Tuesday that two factors will influence his decision to return in 2023: “First, it’s my health,” Rodgers said, and, “Are we alive, second?”
As the Jets grapple with a four-game losing streak, they now stand outside the playoff contention, trailing the Indianapolis Colts by a margin of two games in the race for the coveted final AFC wild-card spot.
Head coach Robert Saleh has already announced that 29-year-old journeyman Tim Boyle will start at quarterback against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, replacing Zach Wilson.
Boyle, who took the place of the drafted second overall pick, Zach Wilson, in 2021—due to Wilson’s struggles—was traded by the Green Bay Packers in exchange for the 39-year-old Rodgers.
Wilson (excluding Boyle) was not supposed to play quarterback for the Jets this season. It was supposed to be Rodgers’ job. His team.
In the first year of his $112.5 million contract, the Jets did not select him just for a farewell tour. Rodgers’ departure was so detrimental to the Jets’ 2023 plans that popular offensive coordinators Saleh and Nathaniel Hackett are hopeful for a return in 2024,
which may be granted with a significant Mulligan. It remains uncertain whether Rodgers will return this year, but the question extends beyond that.
With a string of four consecutive losses, the Jets (4-7) have slipped from playoff contention, trailing behind the Indianapolis Colts, the current occupants of the last AFC wild-card position.
Saleh has expressed confidence in Boyle, stating that the experienced traveler will start at quarterback against Atlanta.
It would be remarkable if Rodgers returns this year, considering that NFL players with torn Achilles tendons typically require nine to 12 months for recovery.
Consider the stakes: the Jets have used eight different combinations of offensive linemen in 11 games. Who will protect the inexperienced blue quarterback struggling behind them?
Despite six games still on the horizon, the chances of Rodgers making a return to the field this season seem slim. An unidentified NFL executive, speaking to The Washington Post this week, emphasized that even the Jets wouldn’t make such a misguided decision.
However, Rodgers has not excluded the possibility of his return in 2023.
So, experienced Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley and teammates are answering questions about Rodgers’ potential return this year.
How miraculous would it be? Rodgers can throw up to 59,000 yards and potentially win the Super Bowl—and challenge nature too! The hope is that Rodgers will choose to stay with the team full-time in California, rather than attempting another comeback.
On Monday, Mosley commented on Rodgers’ recovery, expressing, ‘This is truly unprecedented, and no one has witnessed anything quite like it before.
You can just watch the process, see where he is due to the injury, and just be happy for him, happy that he can walk, happy that he is attempting to play football again in this situation, especially this soon.
As both a friend and a teammate, witnessing his well-being, seeing the joy in his smile, and observing his spirited strides brings me happiness.
However, in the realm of football, one understands that it’s in the hands of fate, and if it unfolds as such, I’ll undoubtedly find joy in it.’
Rodgers can reveal anything about his comeback. The latest update came on Sunday when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, citing a source, said that Rodgers hopes to resume practice early this week,
considering playing in the Jets’ home game against the Washington Commanders on Christmas evening. Another twist in the tale.”
The confidential source noted that Rodgers is required to simply present a doctor’s note, suggesting that the paperwork presented by the Jets before Rodgers made his decision has not posed any detriment to him.
Considering the millions invested by the Jets in Rodgers, his return is undoubtedly not as straightforward. However, the amazing Aaron Rodgers comeback is still on the table.
So, he still gets plenty of face time. Before the unexpected 32-6 loss at home to Miami on Friday, cameras spotted Rodgers on the field in a Jets employee’s 15-yard pass, wearing a cap, khaki hoodie, and black pants.
Certainly, returning to practice is far from returning to the game action. It’s possible that Rodgers may don a helmet and pads and start working out with his teammates, only to decide (or it may have already been decided) that his actual return to play will be best in 2024.
Now, consider this for a moment. If Rodgers, who turned 40 this Saturday, comes back after a few months—just grabbing his left ankle and hitting the field again, or even worse, gets injured in another part of his body.
The Jets, holding the longest current NFL playoff drought at 12 seasons, might have never heard the end of it.
Any NFL fan wants their favorite team’s quarterback to be filled with confidence, but Rodgers might be unintentionally sending the wrong message here.
It’s not just about him. For the sake of entertainment, let’s assume that Boyle or even Wilson somehow leads the Jets to victory against Atlanta, Houston, and Miami. Then why should the Jets switch to QB Cubie?”