Will Aaron Rodgers return to Jets this season? Latest updates as QB ‘ahead of schedule’ in Achilles injury recovery

Achilles’ last stand?

The New York Jets must be entering their Week 7 bye with a bit of elation. After losing Aaron Rodgers to an Achilles injury in Week 1, hopes of a playoff run may have been dashed as the team turned back to Zach Wilson, who has helped level the ship a bit.

There is a world, though, in which maybe the Jets will turn back to Rodgers in 2023.

MORE: Aaron Rodgers details road back from Achilles tear: ‘Watch what I do’

Rodgers’ aggressive rehab took another turn for the positive in Week 6, when the quarterback was seen throwing passes before the Jets’ win over the Eagles. While a return in the near future still seems farfetched, the Jets are “leaving the door open” for a return.

Here’s what to know about No. 8’s potential return to QB1 on the Jets depth chart:

Will Aaron Rodgers return for the Jets this season?

There is no potential or official date for Rodgers’ return to an NFL field, but both the player and the team have been adamant that his season may not be over just yet, with recent developments raising some eyebrows about what’s possible. 

On Oct. 17, Rodgers said that he’s “ahead of schedule,” but there are still “critical markers” that he needs to hit in order to return to the field, including jogging and practice.

“Obviously, we’re ahead of schedule, there’s a lot of factors to that,” Rodgers said on “The Pat McAfee Show.” … “We’ll see what happens. I’m not going to put a timetable on it, specifically, that makes absolutely no sense. Anybody that does, doesn’t realize there’s a lot that has to happen to get to that point (of return).”

MORE: How much does Aaron Rodgers make from ‘The Pat McAfee Show’?

Before the Jets-Eagles Week 6 matchup, Rodgers was seen walking without crutches and throwing a few passes on the field at MetLife Stadium, potentially signaling a major turning point in his rehab. 

The same day Rodgers offered a small update, Jets head coach Robert Saleh followed suit. He didn’t offer a clear timeline for Rodgers’ return — the head coach likely doesn’t want to set any kind of public expectations for a return this year — but kept the door open for a Rodgers comeback.

Speaking on “Good Morning Football,” Saleh weighed in on the potential return:

Your guess is as good as mine (as it pertains to a potential return date). Like I said, we’re leaving that door open for him. Everything says he shouldn’t be able to do this. Any medical professional, anyone who’s been through an Achilles injury, they’re all saying there’s no way. But don’t tell him that. Like I said, the more you doubt him and the more you doubt whether or not he’s able to do it, I think it just fuels him. I mean, if I was going to bet — even though gambling is illegal for employees — I would bet on him, not against him.

Rodgers hasn’t set a target date for a return, but has made vague prognostications about his Jets re-debut this year, saying as much on the “McAfee Show” after his injury.

“Anything’s possible — I’m gonna try to push this thing as much as it’ll allow me to.” 

Aaron Rodgers injury updates

Oct. 17: Rodgers says that there are still “critical markers” to hit on his road to recovery, but that he’s “ahead of schedule.”

Oct. 15: Before the Jets’ Week 6 win over the Eagles, Rodgers is seen on the field throwing passes without any assistance. 

Oct. 1: Just a few weeks removed from Rodgers’ Achilles surgery, the quarterback makes his first public appearance since that Week 1 injury. This time, it’s in Week 4 vs. the Chiefs, and he appears on the sideline with crutches.

Sept. 14: Rodgers confirms that he underwent surgery on his injured Achilles, officially beginning his road to recovery. Rodgers has yet to comment on whether or not he plans to play in 2024.

Sept. 13: Rodgers has his first comments since the season-ending injury, saying he will “rise again.”

Sept. 12: ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Rodgers’ MRI did, in fact, reveal a torn Achilles. He is now out for the season, and it’s possible that his career could be over as well.

Sept. 11: Jets coach Robert Saleh says that the Jets fear Rodgers has suffered a torn Achilles, an injury that would be season-ending.

Sept. 11: Rodgers, after initially being ruled questionable to return against the Bills, is ruled out by the Jets. His X-rays are negative, but he is seen wearing a boot heading into the locker room.

Sept. 11: On the fourth snap of his Jets debut, Rodgers is injured. He is helped off the field and eventually carted into the locker room with an ankle injury.

Sept. 11: Rodgers makes his regular-season debut as the Jets starter in front of the crowd at MetLife Stadium.

TSN’s Jacob Camenker contributed to this article.

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