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Aaron Rodgers Says He Won't Return For The Jets This Season

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he won't return for Jets this season. Aaron held the sports world's attention for three months with his ambitious attempt to recover quickly from Achilles surgery.

William Willis
Dec 20, 20235516 Shares78796 Views
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers says he won't return for the Jets this season. Aaron held the sports world's attention for three months with his ambitious attempt to recover quickly from Achilles surgery. However, Rodgers has committed to playing in the NFL in 2024 and beyond.
Speaking optimistically on "The Pat McAfee Show," Rodgers conveyed that making a comeback for a playoff game would have been "an absolute no-brainer." Unfortunately, the Jets (5-9) were eliminated from postseason contention on Sunday, solidifying Rodgers' decision not to return to action.
"If I was 100 percent today, I'd be definitely pushing to play," he said. "But the fact is, I'm not."
Having undergone surgery on September 13, Rodgers acknowledged that it was always "unrealistic to think that I would be 100 percent to be medically cleared at any point during the regular season." Despite this, the four-time MVP expressed his willingness to play and take the risk if the Jets still had a chance at making the postseason.
With Rodgers' 21-day practice window set to close on Wednesday, if the Jets do not activate him, the 40-year-old quarterback will remain on injured reserve for the final three weeks. The only rationale for activating Rodgers would be to allow him to continue practicing, but this seems improbable as it would occupy a spot on the 53-man roster.
Had the Jets kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Rodgers mentioned that he would have attempted 11-on-11 practice reps this week to assess his surgically repaired Achilles. Even then, he would have needed to "check all the boxes" before receiving medical clearance. His initial aim was to return for the Jets' upcoming game against the Washington Commanders on Sunday.
There's always a fear about rerupture if you're going too fast. But this allows me to - I'm not going to slow my rehab down. I'm going to keep attacking it every single day, but now, without a timetable to come back, obviously, we can be as smart as we need to be.- Aaron Rodgers
The Jets publicly refrained from making any negative comments about Rodgers' comeback attempt, regardless of its seeming improbability. Coach Robert Saleh emphasized on Monday that "Rodgers wants to play; let's not confuse that one." Saleh also clarified that the Jets would only consider playing him if Rodgers received medical clearance. Recognizing the likelihood that he wouldn't be medically cleared, Rodgers essentially decided to sit himself down.
Aaron Rodgers trying to throw the ball during a game
Aaron Rodgers trying to throw the ball during a game
Looking ahead, Rodgers has affirmed his desire to continue playing beyond 2024, a sentiment he strongly hinted at during training camp. He reiterated his intention to play at least two seasons for the Jets, who acquired him in an April trade with the Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, his first season with the Jets lasted only four plays before the injury, leading the team into a challenging period.
"I feel like this year is kind of a lost year now that I've only played a couple snaps and wasn't able to go out there and prove what I'm capable of and see what we're capable of as a team," he said.
I feel like I can play more years and I can be effective into my 40s, which is crazy. I thought that I'd probably be sitting on the couch somewhere at 40, but now I want to be a starter at 40. I want to be a starter at 41. I want to see what I can get out of this body.- Aaron Rodgers
In his regular segment on McAfee's show, Rodgers transformed it into a pep talk for the Jets organization and its understandably frustrated fan base, projecting a positive outlook for 2024. He showered effusive praise on Coach Saleh, General Manager Joe Douglas, and Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, all of whom have faced scrutiny due to the team's ongoing challenges.
The Jets just concluded their eighth consecutive losing season and marked the 13th year in a row without a playoff appearance. Given Rodgers' substantial influence within the organization, his endorsements are likely to hold significant weight, especially with owner Woody Johnson.
"I believe in the leadership that we have here," Rodgers said. "I believe in our guys. I think it's not a situation where we have to rebuild. We need to reload a little bit, and there'll be some tough decisions for sure, but I like the pieces that we have in place."

Conclusion

Rodgers lauded Douglas for his "great drafts and a great roster." He described Saleh as a "fantastic coach," acknowledging that injuries have contributed to the team's disappointing performance this year. Despite a historically challenging year for the offense, Rodgers expressed his unwavering belief in Hackett.
"I think the offense that he runs is quarterback-friendly," Rodgers said. "Obviously, it was geared around me and my abilities and what I do well."
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