Aaron Rodgers Rumors: Injured QB ‘Not Expected’ to Play If Jets Out of NFL Playoffs

Aaron Rodgers Rumors: Injured QB ‘Not Expected’ to Play If Jets Out of NFL Playoffs
Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerTwitter LogoFeatured Columnist IVDecember 3, 2023

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 24: Aaron Rodgers #8 of the New York Jets looks on from the sideline prior to an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium on November 24, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Perry Knotts/Getty Images

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers isn’t expected to return to the field this season if the team is out of the playoff race when he’s cleared to play, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“There is a chance that Rodgers is activated this season, putting him back on the 53-man roster, sources say,” Rapoport reported. “But even then, if the team is out of it, he wouldn’t play. He may, for instance, be the third QB only to be used in emergency, helping him stay connected and involved. None have been used this season.”

Rapoport previously reported on Nov. 26 that Rodgers was nearing a return to practice and tentatively setting Dec. 24 against the Washington Commanders as the earliest he’d suit up.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

From @NFLGameDay: The Aaron Rodgers watch is on. pic.twitter.com/59uFtH4FQg

The four-time MVP has blown past even the most optimistic assessments for his recovery so far.

The Washington Post‘s Adam Kilgore wrote that Minnesota Vikings running back Cam Akers “is believed to have recovered from a torn Achilles’ faster than any professional football player.” He was out for just under six months. Rodgers is basically cutting that in half.

However, that unprecedented timeline along with the severity of a major Achilles injury and the Jets’ current position have raised questions over whether it makes sense to have him take any more snaps in 2023.

At 4-7, New York is four games back of the first-place Miami Dolphins in the AFC East and two games behind the Indianapolis Colts for the final wild-card spot. By Week 16, the door to the postseason could be shut for good.

The potential for Rodgers to aggravate his Achilles or suffer an associated injury would seemingly outweigh the benefit of him appearing in what were inconsequential games.

“A comeback this year before the four month mark would mean I’m not 100 percent healthy, so it would be a risk for myself and team to sign off on,” Rodgers told reporters this week. “If we are out of it, I would be surprised if they OK’d that to come back.”

This was guaranteed to be a lost season from the moment the 40-year-old went down. Finally accepting that fate and shutting him down until 2024 is arguably the right call.

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