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Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers returned to practice on Wednesday, eyeing an unprecedented return from a torn Achilles suffered in September. It's unclear if the 39-year-old signal-caller will actually suit up before the end of 2023, but if he does, his recovery would be one of the most improbable in NFL history, considering most Achilles tears require eight to 12 months of rehab.

Which other NFL players have accomplished remarkable returns from serious injuries? Here are some of the most notable:

Cam Akers (2021)


The Rams running back suffered a torn Achilles in the summer of 2021 and returned in Week 18 of the same season, just six months after undergoing surgery. It is the fastest-documented return from such an injury in recent memory, and it allowed Akers to play a sizable role for Los Angeles during the club's Super Bowl run that postseason.

Alex Smith (2020)


The former 49ers QB fractured his tibia and fibula while starting for Washington in Week 11 of the 2018 season, and things only got worse from there; Smith then developed a life-threatening bacterial infection and reportedly weighed a leg amputation. After sitting out all of 2019, however, he returned to start six games in 2020, going 5-1 to help guide a playoff appearance.

Teddy Bridgewater (2017)


The Vikings QB suffered a non-contact knee injury in 2016 training camp, scaring teammates with a dislocated knee, ACL tear and other structural damage that threatened to end his career in his early 20s. He missed all of 2016 but returned late the following season as a backup, and he's now played almost six additional seasons, notably going 5-0 as a Saints fill-in in 2019.

Adrian Peterson (2012)


The star Vikings running back tore his ACL and MCL in Week 16 of the 2011 season, but he was back in the lineup for Week 1 of the following season, outpacing typical recovery timelines of up to 12 months. Not only that, but Peterson proceeded to post career numbers as the center of Minnesota's offense, rushing for 2,097 yards in 16 games, the second-most ever.

Peyton Manning (2012)


The future Hall of Fame Colts QB underwent two neck surgeries, including a spinal fusion, prior to the 2011 season, raising questions about his NFL future. After missing all of 2011, he was released and joined the Broncos, returning even better than before. Manning threw an NFL-record 55 touchdowns in 2013, then helped Denver win the Super Bowl in 2015.

Drew Brees (2006)


The Chargers QB suffered a torn labrum and dislocated shoulder in his throwing arm during Week 17 of the 2005 season, prompting San Diego to let him walk in free agency that offseason. Brees signed with the Saints and went on to become one of the most prolific passers in NFL history, earning 12 Pro Bowl nods and winning a Super Bowl over 15 years in New Orleans.

Joe Montana (1986)

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Widely considered one of, if not the best QBs of all time, the 49ers star suffered a severe spinal disc injury in Week 1 of the 1986 campaign, two years after his second Super Bowl title. He returned less than two months later and was even sharper the following year, throwing a career-high 31 TDs. Montana then went on to win two MVPs and another two Super Bowls from 1989-1990.