Will he or won’t he? It is the question that has been hanging around New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers and whether he will be able to return to the field just about two months after he suffered a torn Achilles in the first game of the season.
A torn Achilles injury could have kept Rodgers out for the rest of the season, and it was more likely that Jets fans would not be able to see him play again until the 2024 season. However, Rodgers seems hellbent on returning and trying to sneak New York into the playoffs.
The Jets were on NBC against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night, and the question came up again. NBC sideline reporter Melissa Stark relayed what the four-time NFL MVP told her. Stark said Rodgers told her he is targeting a mid-December return.
"He said, ‘I know it sounds insane, but you do a good surgery, you have a good patient, it makes this possible,’" Stark said on the broadcast.
Rodgers said he has been working on a weight-limiting treadmill, jogging at 50% of his body weight. His goal this week is to increase it to 75%.
Last week, Rodgers met Los Angeles Chargers defensive back Derwin James at midfield and suggested that he needed a few more weeks. However, he told "The Pat McAfee Show" that was a joke. He then said he needed a few "fortnights."
"I mean, obviously, that was said with a little tongue in cheek there. It’d be nice to be back in a couple weeks, but that’s probably not anywhere near a realistic timeline," Rodgers said Tuesday. "It could be a few, it could be a lot. It’s more of a phrase that didn’t have a specific timetable. I said it smiling, joking… obviously it’s gonna be more than a couple weeks."
The Jets lost 16-12 to the Raiders on Sunday. New York fell to 4-5 on the season.
A mid-December return for Rodgers could put him in the game between the Jets and Miami Dolphins on Dec. 17. It would give him four games to see what he could do. Before then, the Jets really need to win one or two games to keep pace with the other teams.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.