Aaron Rodgers made headlines with another pre-game showing Monday, throwing deep passes on three-step drop-backs just two months after undergoing surgery for a torn Achilles. The rehabbing Jets quarterback was even more newsworthy after New York’s Week 9 loss to the Chargers, in which he could be heard teasing a return to action: “Give me a few weeks.”
Rodgers, of course, did not play in Monday’s game; he remains on injured reserve while recovering from an ailment that typically requires nine to 12 months of rehab. But Chargers safety Derwin James approached the former Packers star following Monday’s final buzzer, and could be heard asking Rodgers straight-up, “When you coming back, man?” To which Rodgers appeared to offer his blunt and bold reply: “Give me a few weeks.”
Monday wasn’t the first time Rodgers threw passes pre-game, but it was the first time he showcased a willingness to repeatedly use his legs while throwing deep, at least since he suffered the Achilles tear in Week 1. He’s said repeatedly that he’s ahead of normal schedule in his rehab, always leaving the door open for a return during the 2023 season, but he had also cautioned more recently that he’s endured “smaller gains” in the recovery.
CBS Sports HQ injury expert Marty Jaramillo told CBSSports.com in October that Rodgers is “absolutely” on pace for an unprecedented return this year, at least according to the visual evidence of his movement without crutches. Specifically, Jaramillo estimated that Rodgers, who underwent a relatively new procedure to accelerate Achilles repair, could be fully ready to play 12-14 weeks after surgery, which would mean as early as Week 15, when the Jets visit the Dolphins on Dec. 17.
“It’s pretty obvious I’m well ahead of the normal protocols when it comes to rehab for this kind of thing,” Rodgers previously told “The Pat McAfee Show.” “[We’re] being as smart as possible, not trying to stress the Achilles but stretch the Achilles in a way that allows me to start doing movement quicker and to speed up whatever timeline has kind of been the standard for this type of injury.”