NY Jets don't sound confident Aaron Rodgers will return next week

Don't hold your breath
NY Jets, Aaron Rodgers
NY Jets, Aaron Rodgers / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The NY Jets shocked the NFL world with a miraculous three-touchdown performance in the team's 30-6 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday. With the playoffs technically not out of reach, questions were naturally asked about the status of Aaron Rodgers after the game.

Zach Wilson may have played the best game of his NFL career, but there's no doubt that the possible return of Rodgers remains the elephant in the room at One Jets Drive.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh was asked about the possibility of Rodgers returning next week after the game, and while he avoided a straight answer, he made it clear that fans shouldn't get their hopes up.

Saleh told reporters that he "wouldn't hold [his] breath} when asked about the possibility of Rodgers returning next week. It certainly seems as though Rodgers will be sidelined for at least another week — and very likely more.

When will Aaron Rodgers return?

The Jets designated Rodgers to return from the injured reserve late last month, opening up a 21-day window for him to be activated to the 53-man roster. The Jets have until Dec. 20 to activate Rodgers, or else he will revert to the season-ending IR and miss the remainder of the season.

That possibility has seemed more and more likely as the weeks have gone on. Following five consecutive losses, the Jets essentially eliminated themselves from playoff contention.

While they're not mathematically eliminated, and their big Week 14 win over the Texans certainly helps, the Jets still have only around a 20 percent of making the postseason if they win their final four games of the season.

Even if the Jets win out, it's very likely they will still miss the playoffs. Considering the fact that Rodgers has insisted he will only return if the Jets are still alive in the playoff hunt, that certainly suggests he won't be back this season.

That's probably for the best, all things considered. The Jets have no reason to rush Rodgers back and risk further injury, especially if they aren't going anywhere this season.

Besides, why not let Zach Wilson cook at this stage? Wilson may not have a future with the Jets, but he could significantly improve his trade value over the coming weeks if he continues to play well.

Aaron Rodgers likely won't be back next week. He may not return this season at all. But given how this Jets season has gone, no one should be surprised.