NY Jets QB Aaron Rodgers expected to be cleared to return next week

Aaron Rodgers might be returning after all

NY Jets, Aaron Rodgers
NY Jets, Aaron Rodgers / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

Any hopes of Aaron Rodgers potentially returning to play for the NY Jets again in 2023 appeared to disappear after the team went on a disastrous five-game losing streak in the middle of the season.

The Jets did manage to snap that losing streak with a stunning and definitive 30-6 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday, but it's still a long shot that they can make the playoffs. But all Rodgers might need is a chance.

TMZ reported on Monday that Rodgers is expected to be medically cleared in time for the Jets' Week 16 game against the Washington Commanders on Christmas Eve. Yes, that's less than two weeks away.

Would Rodgers actually agree to return, however? That much remains unclear. But all signs point to Rodgers being medically cleared to return if he and the Jets agree on it.

Aaron Rodgers might actually return for the NY Jets this season

Rodgers has previously made it clear that he will only return this season if the Jets have a chance of making the postseason. While the team isn't mathematically eliminated yet, they face quite an uphill battle.

Even if the Jets were to win their final four games of the season, they would still hold only a 12 percent chance of making the playoffs, per the New York Times playoff simulator. Those aren't exactly great odds.

The Jets designated Rodgers to return from the injured reserve late last month, opening a 21-day window for him to be activated. The team has until Dec. 20 to activate him to the 53-man roster. If not, he will revert to the season-ending IR and officially be ruled out for the remainder of the 2023 season.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters following Sunday's win that fans "shouldn't hold their breath" regarding a possible Rodgers return this week. He didn't say anything about him returning next week, though.

Of course, for Rodgers to even remotely consider returning in two weeks, the Jets have to find a way to win their Week 15 game against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday. A win in that game would keep the Jets' playoff hopes — however slim they might be — alive.

If the Jets receive another performance from Zach Wilson and the offense like what they saw this past Sunday, they might just have a chance.

An Aaron Rodgers return remains a pipedream for the Jets, but it's a pipedream that feels ever so slightly more attainable than it did at this time last week.