Zach Wilson has helped lead the Jets to three straight wins, giving the team reason for optimism they could remain in the postseason hunt later in the year. As a result, the door remains open to Aaron Rodgers returning this season.
Many personnel within the organization are confident Rodgers can rehab in time to play again before the end of the campaign, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated notes. While no one – including the 39-year-old himself – has made a definitive statement on the topic, it is clear all parties are still intent on his Achilles rehab reaching the point where he able to suit up again relatively soon. During his latest Pat McAfee Show appearance, Rodgers said (via ESPN’s Rich Cimini) he can now walk without issue but still has a long way to go in his recovery process.
“Obviously, I’m not going to put words in Aaron’s mouth,” general manager Joe Douglas said in a media appearance on Tuesday. “We’re obviously excited to see him progress through his rehab. Look, we’re taking everything day by day… I’m not a doctor, so I can’t go into the specifics of the rehab, but yeah, we’re expecting Aaron to be back” (video link via SNY).
Douglas clarified that he anticipates Rodgers will simply be back with the organization on a full-time, in-person basis rather than on the field. Still, the latter scenario is believed to be in play, as has been the case for some time now. Rodgers underwent a relatively new procedure aimed at dramatically shortening the recovery time, and his progress to date has been encouraging. Any in-season return would only be reasonable if the Jets were to be in contention, of course, something which seemed highly unlikely during Wilson’s first few games under center.
After New York made it clear a starting-caliber replacement would not be brought in, the former second overall pick has seen his performances stabilize to a degree. Wilson posted a passer rating of 105.2 in the Jets’ primetime loss to the Chiefs, and that figure has landed in the mid-70s each week since. While his 58.3% completion percentage and 5:5 touchdown-to-interception ratio certainly leave plenty to be desired, the team’s stout defense could keep them in the running for a wild-card berth in the AFC.
If that turns out to be the case, serious attention will no doubt continue to be paid to Rodgers’ ongoing rehab process. For the time being, though, there is notable optimism all around that a once-surprising comeback is still very much in play.