Rodgers’ return will come next season with Jets out of playoff hunt and QB not 100% healthy

Rodgers’ return will come next season with Jets out of playoff hunt and QB not 100% healthy

(AP) Aaron Rodgers’ quest to make an improbable return this season for the New York Jets appears over.

The 40-year-old quarterback said during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday he’s not yet 100% healthy in his recovery from a torn left Achilles tendon and is still a few weeks away.

Rodgers said if the Jets had won last Sunday at Miami and remained in the postseason hunt, he “would have pushed it as far as I could this week” even at less than fully healthy to be ready to play against Washington on Sunday. But the Jets were routed 30-0 and eliminated from the playoff hunt for the 13th straight year.

“If I was 100% today, I’d be pushing to play,” Rodgers said. “But I’m not. … I pushed it as far as I could.”
Rodgers never firmly said he won’t play this season, but strongly indicated that is the case.

The Jets opened the 21-day practice window for Rodgers on Nov. 29 and have until Wednesday to activate him from the injured reserve list. Otherwise, the quarterback will revert to IR for the rest of the season. Rodgers still needs to be medically cleared — something that seemed to be a possibility — before those conversations would even occur.

Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon just four snaps into his debut with the Jets on Sept. 11. He had surgery two days later and was trying to have the fastest return to the playing field of any known professional athlete. Wednesday will mark 14 weeks since Rodgers’ surgery, which reportedly included a “speed bridge” — an internal brace on the Achilles tendon — procedure that helps expedite the healing process.

Rodgers added that he doesn’t think next season will be his last in the NFL, saying he always wanted to play at least two years for the Jets and this season was “kind of a lost year.”

He reiterated he’s excited to play again and optimistic about the Jets’ future. He said he has full faith in general manager Joe Douglas, coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, and the team needs to “reload” and not “rebuild” during the offseason.

“I think the future is very bright,” Rodgers said.

Aaron Rodgers injures his left Achilles tendon in his first series for the Jets
(AP Photo/ Seth Wenig)