NY Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers fully intends to return to live game action this season as long as his team remains mathematically alive in the playoff race. While that last part might not seem probable at this point, Rodgers is preparing as if he's going to play again this year.
The four-time MVP was designated to return from the injured reserve earlier this week, and he even participated in his first practice since the injury on Wednesday. Rodgers is doing everything he can to return to the gridiron.
Of course, many have been quick to question Rodgers' decision to rush back from injury. But if you ask Rodgers himself, he doesn't see any harm in returning this quickly.
Rodgers spoke to reporters on Thursday, and he made it clear that he understands the risks associated with coming back. To him, there is no downside.
"In my opinion there’s not a downside to coming back and re-injuring it."- Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers is aware that he might re-injure himself if he returns
Rodgers' stance is that in the worst-case scenario, he re-tears his Achilles and is once again sidelined for a few months. He insists that he would have enough time to rehab the injury in the offseason and return prior to the start of next season. And, you know what, he might have a point.
If Rodgers were to re-injure the same Achilles, it's unlikely that he would opt for the same exact procedure this time around. Or if he did, he likely wouldn't feel the need to rush back in less than three months. After all, missing OTAs and minicamp isn't anything new for Rodgers.
With that in mind, it's easy to see why Rodgers believes there's no downside to him returning. If he gets hurt again, he can just rehab in the offseason. That wouldn't be ideal, but he's willing to do it.
That said, the Jets would probably rather not bank their entire 2024 season on a 40-year-old Rodgers coming off two separate torn Achilles in the span of 12 months. The rehab process and subsequent fallout aren't as easy as Rodgers is making it seem.
Of course, Rodgers insists that this only matters if the Jets are still in playoff contention by the time he's ready to return. That likely means the Jets would need to win their next two games for him to even consider stepping back onto the field.
The safe bet is to assume that Rodgers ultimately doesn't return, if only due to the Jets' continued struggles. Still, if he is given the opportunity to come back, Rodgers will have no reservations.