Aaron Rodgers Aiming For Mid-December Return?

NOVEMBER 14: Rodgers provided some more context on a potential return during his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show. The QB admitted that he “never said anything definitive” regarding a potential return date and said “nothing’s changed” about his timeline (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com).

However, the QB is clearly keeping the door open to a return this season. In addition to his actual recovery, Rodgers will also consider the Jets’ playoff positioning over the upcoming weeks.

“There’s no set date,” Rodgers said. “It could change. If I have a great week this week and next week, that could be accelerated. If we are not in it in three or four weeks, that could take it a different way. I expect us to be in it and I expect to come back, so that’s about all I can tell you at this point.”

NOVEMBER 13: The Jets delivered another poor performance on offense during Sunday night’s loss to the Raiders, adding to the list of disappointing showings by Zach Wilson under center. He remains in place as New York’s starter, but the possibility still exists that Aaron Rodgers could suit up by the end of the season.

The latter has publicly stated his intention of returning to full health at least in time for the start of the 2024 campaign. That would represent a realistic goal under normal circumstances, but Rodgers has repeatedly hinted at an improbable comeback in time for the stretch run this year. In the latest development on that front, the four-time MVP said he is aiming to suit up in mid-December during last night’s broadcast (h/t NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo).

Rodgers underwent a ‘speed bridge’ procedure on his torn Achilles, a relatively new operation aimed at greatly shortening the recovery process. Still, being available for any game action in 2023 would represent a highly impressive feat. Having resumed throwing roughly one month ago, the 39-year-old showed signs of being able to play late in the season (with the caveat that doing so would only realistically be possible if the Jets found themselves in postseason contention late in the year).

The Jets are on board with the notion of Rodgers being able to play in the relatively near future, so his update represents a further sign of the parties’ shared goal to rescue a season which is under threat of going off the rails due to poor offensive play. New York has managed just three offensive touchdowns over the past five games, and Wilson has yet to develop as hoped. The latter still had the unanimous backing of the organization before Week 10, and it will be interesting to see if a change to the QB depth chart will be given new consideration in the coming days.

For now, the hopes of the 4-5 Jets will still rest on Wilson’s shoulders with respect to sufficiently complementing a strong defense and running game. Roughly one month from now, however, Rodgers could be on track to reprise his starter’s role depending on his continued recovery and the state of the team in the closing stages of the campaign.

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