Just because New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles four plays into the 2023 season doesn't mean he's giving up on the season altogether. Per NFL Media, Rodgers is aiming for a mid-January return in case New York makes the postseason.
NBC Sports sideline reporter Melissa Stark provided more detail on Rodgers' recovery ahead of the Jets' matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on "Sunday Night Football." She said the four-time NFL MVP is rehabbing "over five hours a day" with the goal of returning to action this season.
Rodgers reportedly underwent an innovative surgery this week to accelerate the rehabilitation process. Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed a procedure where he placed an internal brace called a "speed bridge" on Rodgers' left Achilles. This new process in theory can have an athlete back in four months. A speed bridge does not guarantee a speedy recovery, but it does strengthen the repair itself.
Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers returned from a torn Achilles after five and a half months in 2021, but the 39-year-old Rodgers is attempting to beat that. Rodgers immediately began researching for his recovery the night he went down. On the "Pat McAfee Show" in mid-September, Rodgers said he has put together a good rehab plan that will " NFL Media also reports Rodgers could receive platelet-rich plasma injections such as the ones Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant received after he tore his Achilles in 2013. Rodgers mentioned Bryant by name in discussing his recovery, and in fact, Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed both players' surgeries.
Rodgers didn't want to make any statement about when he could return during his interview with McAfee, but when pushed by former teammate A.J. Hawk, who asked Rodgers if he could come back this season, Rodgers replied with, "I think as Kevin Garnett said, 'Anything is possible.'"
Rodgers is doing everything he can to have a chance to return this season and while he's 39 years old, he made it clear not to count him out.
"I think what I'd like to say is ... Give me the doubts," Rodgers said. "Give me the timetables. Give me all the things that you think can, should or will happen. Because all I need is that one little extra percent of inspiration. That's all I need.
"Give me your timetables, give me your doubts, give me your prognostications and then watch what I do."