Aaron Rodgers has made no secret about his desire to play again this season after undergoing Achilles surgery. And while he said he is ahead of schedule in his recovery, the Jets quarterback added that several significant hurdles would have to be cleared in order for him to get back on the field.
Rodgers, who was seen walking and throwing passes without the use of crutches prior to the Jets’ Week 6 win over the Eagles, is hoping that he recovers well enough where practicing is something that is on the table.
“Hopefully, we get to have those conversations,” Rodgers said Tuesday on “The Pat McAfee Show,” via ESPN.
Jogging, the four-time MVP said, is his next goal in recovering, followed by explosive movements, practice and pregame warmups. Rodgers said that his recovery is slightly easier because the injury happened to his left foot, which he doesn’t push off of when he throws.
While he isn’t walking perfectly normal, Rodgers said that “throwing feels great.” That being said, Rodgers is still a ways away from practicing with his teammates. And while he is recovering ahead of schedule, one of the concerns is possibly overworking the surgically repaired Achilles in an effort to get back on the field.
“It’s not just going to be boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” Rodgers said. “There are critical markers that I have to hit as far as single-leg strength and being able to do heel raises and being able to do explosive movements. And these are all progressions that take time.”
The Jets’ recent success has further fueled the belief that Rodgers will try to play again this season. After a 1-3 start, Gang Green is currently .500 after defeating the Broncos and Eagles in consecutive weeks. At 3-3, the Jets are in the thick of the AFC standings; they’re currently the 10th-seeded team but are just a half-game behind the Browns, who would be the conference’s final playoff team if the postseason started today.
He may not have been on the field on Sunday, but Rodgers found a way contribute to the win by working with New York’s offensive coaches.
“To be on the field without crutches, to be able to go on the sidelines, to be on the headset, it made me feel like I wasn’t so separated from the team,” Rodgers said. “So, I’m really thankful for that.
“That was a special moment for me to be able to feel a little bit more normal in five weeks. It’s been really, really tough, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually.”