Aaron Rodgers offered a more specific timeline for his return to the football field — and the date is much sooner than fans expected.
NBC’s Melissa Stark shared an update on Rodgers, 39, during the Sunday, November 12, broadcast of the New York Jets game vs. the Las Vegas Raiders, explaining that she recently spoke to him about his recovery. According to Stark, Rodgers said he’s now looking at a mid-December return to the field.
“He said, ‘I know it sounds insane, but you do a good surgery, you have a good patient, it makes this possible,’” Stark recalled.
Later in the evening, Jets coach Robert Saleh said that the team will bring Rodgers back as soon as they can, so long as it’s safe. “If the doctors clear him, we’ll clear him,” Saleh, 44, told reporters after the Jets lost to the Raiders.
Rodgers tore his Achilles in September, less than four minutes into his first game with the Jets. He subsequently underwent surgery but was not expected to recover before the end of the NFL season.
One month later, he shocked fans when he was seen walking without crutches and throwing passes with his teammates on the sidelines. “He is on a mission. I don’t put anything past him,” Saleh told NBC Sports in October. “I’ve heard he’s absolutely dominating rehab and he really wants to get back this year.”
While some observers speculated that Rodgers’ injury could be career-ending, the quarterback has always said that he plans to play again after he recovers. “I don’t wanna get caught into a timeline, I just want to get healthy,” he said on The Pat McAfee Show in September. “But I’m gonna do everything that I can rehab-wise to put myself in a position to be ready to play football again at some point. That’s the goal.”
Earlier this month, Rodgers hinted that his return to the field could come sooner rather than later. After the Jets faced off the Los Angeles Chargers on November 6, Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. asked Rodgers when he’s “coming back” to play. In a clip shared via ESPN’s official social media account, Rodgers patted James, 27, on the back and quipped, “Give me a few weeks.”
Rodgers was traded to the Jets in April after 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. As a member of the Wisconsin team, he took home the Super Bowl trophy in 2011 and was named MVP for his performance in the championship that same year. He also earned the NFL’s MVP title in 2011, 2014, 2020 and 2021.