After he went down with a torn Achilles, Aaron Rodgers vowed to surprise everyone and come back sooner than anyone expected. That still may be the case, and at the time, it felt like it would be a rescue mission. Now more than ever, it seems apparent that the New York Jets need just that, but they may not get it in time.
Rodgers’ timeline is improbable, but it does look like he could theoretically be activated during Week 16, but if he is or isn’t depends on a lot of factors, including how well the Jets are playing.
Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show:
“First, am I healthy? And then are we alive? Are we in it? Are we playing good enough to make a run? Can I step in and protect myself and play at a level that I feel like I’m capable of playing? There’s a natural progression here to the rehab.”
He added that his rehab has to involve getting back on the field and doing football things, but he’s not there yet:
“We’re still not where I can make a decision on playing because I’m just health wise, improving steadily, but I’m not in ability to play at this point.”
The Jets have begun to spiral without Rodgers. They’re 4-7 and can ill afford many more losses if Rodgers is expected to save them and take them to the playoffs.
His earliest return date could be Week 16 against the Washington Commanders, but he’s only going to try that if the team is in a place to compete. Right now, that seems like a longer shot than recovering from a torn Achilles in one season.
Jets spiral as they await Aaron Rodgers’ return
Based on the play of the New York Jets, whether it’s from Tim Boyle or Zach Wilson at quarterback, there’s little chance the team wins even one game before that potential Week 16 return.
They really can’t afford even a single loss, as a 9-8 record would make it hard to envision a playoff appearance. That would be the Jets record if they lost only one game from here on out, and they don’t have a cakewalk schedule.
If they’re still playing like they presently are, there’s a good chance Rodgers won’t even risk a comeback to take them to the playoffs.