Adam SchefterESPN Senior Writer3 minutes of reading
That’s “not out of the question.” Sources said Aaron Rodgers could return this season, but did not put a specific timeline on his return.
Rams running back Cam Acres tore his Achilles and came back faster than almost any professional athlete: less than five months. Rodgers tore his Achilles on Sept. 11 — exactly five months before this season’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Of course, there are other factors at play in the potential rapid return. The Jets need to do their part with a win to make his return worthwhile. Then the question arises as to how Zach Wilson will play in his place. If Wilson shines, Rodgers doesn’t want to interfere with his progress.
Rodgers will be expected to not only look at his situation, but to see if a return is possible at some point this season.
But at least the comforting part for Jets and Rodgers fans is that it’s clear he’s trying to play again, and the recovery process that will now begin in Los Angeles and continue in New Jersey will determine how long it takes.
Dr. Rodgers, who operated on Rodgers in Los Angeles last week. Neil ElAtrach repaired Kobe Bryant’s torn Achilles in 2013, and it took Bryant eight months to return to action.
NBA All-Star Kevin Durant returned in December 2020, 18 months after tearing his Achilles in June 2019.
Former Atlanta Hawks standout Dominique Wilkins tore him in January 1992 and came back the following November, 10 months later.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham tore him in September 2021 and returned the following September, a year later.
Since then, surgical techniques and treatment techniques have evolved, and so goes Rodgers. He’ll now have a chance to mount his own comeback, though later this season, certainly next season, but with no specific timeline other than playing again.
Jets coach Robert Saleh said he believes a team needs three elements to win on the road, no matter who the quarterback is: a strong ground game, tough defense and sound special teams. The Jets hope they checked off all of those marks, giving Dallas and any road game a chance to win on Sunday.
There are reasons the Jets didn’t rush to sign another quarterback this past week. They don’t want anyone to threaten Wilson and they want to throw their full support behind him. They believe he’s improved from last year and is more like the quarterback they were hoping for with the second overall pick.
The Jets still have a quarterback plan and could sign another backup as early as this week, according to sources. But they were in no rush. Wilson’s no. 1 QB, Tim Boyle as their no. 2, and WR Randall Cobb Emergency no. 3 will serve as QB.