When NY Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered an Achilles injury just four plays into his 2023 season, it was common knowledge that his debut season with his new team ended prematurely. Apparently, there's a small segment of this fanbase that is drinking so much Rodgers Kool-Aid they believe he can get back on the field this year.
While Rodgers is reportedly ahead of schedule in his rehab and was seen tossing the ball around on the field before the Jets' win over the Philadelphia Eagles, there's a monumental gap between some light throws from a stationary position and playing QB in the NFL.
According to medical professionals who would know a thing or two about how long this injury takes to recover, no amount of positive vibes or dolphin sounds will be able to get Rodgers back on the field at some point during the 2023 regular season.
“I’m not aware of anything that would get an athlete back in 14 weeks to play professional sports,’’ said Dr. John Kennedy, professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of the foot and ankle division at NYU Langone. “That would be an exceptional recovery." It's fun to imagine, but a return is wholly unrealistic.
NY Jets fans must accept reality of Aaron Rodgers Achilles injury
Jets fans have been pointing to Vikings running back Cam Akers, who returned from his Achilles injury in five months with the Rams, as evidence a Rodgers return is possible. This neglects to mention the fact he is not a quarterback, still missed almost all of the regular season after getting the injury in the offseason, and hasn't performed the same since.
Coming off an Achilles is incredibly difficult for young athletes in the prime of their careers. An Achilles rehab for a 40-year-old quarterback is not only very difficult, it's unprecedented across NFL history. Why on Earth would the Jets try to rush things?
It can be tough watching Zach Wilson struggle in the red zone, and it is clear that Rodgers would be good enough to paper over what cracks exist in this team's foundation. That doesn't mean the Jets should throw caution to the wing and bring him back so early.
If Rodgers does not recover from his injury, the Jets' contention window would be slammed emphatically shut. Rodgers wants to get out there as soon as possible, but doing so would be a denial of modern medicine the likes of which we haven't seen in NFL history.