NY Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers has set out to push the limits of what the human body is supposed to be capable of this year, and he added another highlight to his rehab process on Friday.
Rodgers continues to work his way back from a torn Achilles that he suffered just four plays into the start of the 2023 season. The Jets designated Rodgers to return from the injured reserve last month and have until Wednesday to officially activate him to the 53-man roster.
As Rodgers continues to increase his practice workload, he's also finding other ways to stay busy. Apparently, that includes playing scout-team linebacker against the starting offense.
Per ESPN's Rich Cimini, Rodgers defied all logic when he soared into the sky and pulled off a leaping, one-handed interception in practice. Yes, this is the same Aaron Rodgers that tore his Achilles just three months ago.
This shouldn't be possible. Rodgers shouldn't be practicing, let alone pulling off leaping, one-handed interceptions. Then again, little that Rodgers has managed to accomplish over the last three months seems possible anyway.
Aaron Rodgers took an important step in his injury rehab this week
While the interception was undoubtedly the highlight and buzz of practice, Rodgers did manage to take another important step forward in his rehab on Thursday.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Friday that Rodgers "pushed it a little bit" on Thursday. The four-time MVP participated in 7-on-7 drills and quarterback drills — and evidently some scout-team defense drills as well.
The final step for Rodgers is to participate in 11-on-11 drills. Once he clears that hurdle and receives medical clearance — which he's expected to receive — there will be nothing logically stopping him from returning to the field for a live game.
Of course, much of Rodgers' return hopes might hinge on the Jets' Week 15 game against the Miami Dolphins. Rodgers has insisted that he will only return if the Jets are still alive in the AFC playoff race.
They're still mathematically alive right now, although their odds aren't promising. A loss to Miami would all but end any hopes of the Jets reaching the postseason or Rodgers returning.
Will Aaron Rodgers ultimately return this season? That might be dependent on the outcome of Sunday's game because, as it stands now, Rodgers looks determined to get back on the field.
He continues to defy the odds and prove his doubters wrong. If the Jets find a way to win on Sunday, history might just be made.