The New York Jets announced they have opened the 21-day practice window for quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ comeback from a torn Achilles tendon, exactly 11 weeks after he had surgery. Rodgers turns 40-years-old on Saturday.
Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon four snaps into his debut with the Jets on Sept. 11 and had surgery two days later. The operation included a “speed bridge” procedure, which helps expedite the healing process. Jets Coach Robert Saleh said that Rodgers will be limited at practice and is not cleared for contact, and emphasized that it’s not a sign that Rodgers will play again this season – just the next part of the four-time NFL MVP’s rehabilitation process. Said Saleh: “For Aaron, what he will be doing in practice is no different than what he’d be doing on the field, with regards to certain drills and individual (drills). Instead of throwing with staff members, he’s throwing with teammates.”
The Jets will later make a decision whether to activate Rodgers, or if he’ll spend the rest of this season on injured reserve, at the end of the 21-day period. Sais Saleh: “We’re not there yet. A lot of guys coming off (injured reserve) are usually not ready to play football. There’s usually still a little bit of a health concern there. So you use these 21-day windows to see where they’re at. We’re so far away from that. But the mindset for this is more of a progression in his rehab. He’s been cleared for functional football activity. He’s not cleared to fully play football.”
Saleh said at a press conference: “He’s sacrificed so much already for the organization…it’s a testament to who he is as a human … I think it’s sooner than anybody (anticipated), I think it’s a credit to him. I know we’re getting caught up in trying to create a narrative around him, but the true narrative is he’s old-school in the sense he is driven. Is there motivation to be the first to ever do it? Sure, but that’s OK. That’s his ‘why’ — that’s why he’s (doing it). It’s a mentality that I think young guys should be able to grab. He loves this organization, he wants to be with his teammates, he wants to be here.”
Editorial credit: lev radin / Shutterstock.com