Antelope Valley Press

Rodgers’ return will come next season, with Jets out of 2023 playoff hunt and QB not 100% healthy


Aaron Rodgers’ quest to make an improbable return this season for the New York Jets appears over.

The 40-year-old quarterbac­k said during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday he’s not yet 100% healthy in his recovery from a torn left Achilles tendon and is still a few weeks away.

“I’m not going to slow my rehab down,” Rodgers said. “I’m going to keep attacking it every single day. But now without a timetable to come back, obviously we can be as smart as we need to be.”

Rodgers said if the Jets had won last Sunday at Miami and remained in the playoff hunt, he “would have pushed it as far as I could this week” even at less than fully healthy to be ready to play against Washington on Sunday. But the Jets were routed 30-0 and eliminated from postseason contention for the 13th straight year.

“If I was 100% today, I’d be definitely pushing to play,” Rodgers said. “But the fact is I’m not.”

Rodgers never firmly said he won’t play this season, but strongly indicated that is the case.

“I think the whole time it’s been, you know, hoping that we’re still in it because it was unrealisti­c to think that I would be 100% to be medically cleared at any point during the regular season,” Rodgers said. “I do feel like in the next three to four weeks, it would be very possible to get to 100%, but obviously not there.

“And so the conversati­on was away from 100% medical clearance to a willingnes­s to play. And that’s never been a problem for me.”

The Jets opened the 21-day practice window for Rodgers on Nov. 29 and have until Wednesday to activate him from the injured reserve list. That still remains a possibilit­y, but he would then take a spot on the active 53-man roster. Otherwise,

the quarterbac­k will revert to IR for the rest of the season. Rodgers still needs to be medically cleared to fully practice — something that seemed to be a possibilit­y.

He has been participat­ing in individual and 7-on-7 drills while also taking snaps from under center and jogging, but hasn’t yet done 11-on-11 team drills.

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