Aaron Rodgers is shooting to play again this season, but he also needs the Jets to be in the playoff mix for that to happen.
Rodgers, during his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, said he is “well ahead” of schedule in his recovery from a torn left Achilles tendon. He knows the odds are stacked against him because of his age, but the 39-year-old Rodgers believes in miracles.
“There’s nothing normal about how I’m attacking this rehab,” Rodgers said. “I believe in making room for the miraculous to happen. I’m not talking about a woo-woo type of spirituality. Sometimes miracles are doing things that people never thought was possible.
“My mantra has been just because something has never been done it doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It just hasn’t been done yet. The impossible often is looked at as miraculous. So when I say leaving room for miracles is leaving room for something that hasn’t been done before.”
Rodgers seems to be doing things that haven’t been done.
He was in MetLife Stadium Sunday on crutches and moving pretty well just 18 days after surgery. According to Rodgers, it’s common to be in a walking boot for six weeks. He said he was in a sneaker in 13 days.
“It’s pretty obvious I’m well ahead of the normal protocols when it comes to rehab for this kind of thing,” Rodgers said.
Rodgers was injured four offensive snaps into the Jets’ season. While he was on the trainer’s table, he called noted orthopedist Dr. Neil ElAttrache and talked about the kind of surgery he would undergo.
ElAttrache performed a SpeedBridge repair. The procedure involves removing spurs and the tendon and then reattaching it to the heel bone with strong sutures.
Rodgers — who revealed he also suffered an ankle injury — has spent the last several days with the Jets He will return to California for more rehab and to get the stitches removed. Rodgers plans to rejoin the Jets during the Week 7 bye and work toward a return.
From the very beginning, Rodgers told ElAttrache, his physical therapists and trainers and Jets’ medical staff that he’s “not adhering” to normal protocols — especially the “blanket” 6-12 month recovery time. Rodgers said he has all of their “blessing” to shoot for the improbable.
“I’ve just kind of been making my own protocols and my own timetables,” Rodgers said. “My entire focus is to do things that just haven’t been done before.”
He told all the medical personnel that his goal was to play again and asked them the risks and what he needs to do for it to happen.
“Let’s attack this rehab as hard as we can and then see where we’re at in a couple of months,” Rodgers said. “I’d like us to be alive and winning for that to even be in the conversation. …. With all of the modalities we’re doing, I feel like we’re going to put ourselves in position to make a decision at some point.”
The Jets are 1-3 and have lost three straight games. But the performance of Zach Wilson and the Jets in Sunday’s 23-20 loss to reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City has provided hope that they can start winning games.
“We got what it takes to compete with the best of the best,” defensive end Bryce Huff said. “We’re going to keep getting better and find those inches in our game and make it all come together.”
Rodgers liked the way Wilson played and feels like the Jets "are in a better head space” after that game. He played a role in their improved play.
Robert Saleh asked Rodgers to address the team during their Saturday night meeting. Rodgers was the only speaker.
His main message to his teammates was to stop pointing fingers and stick together. Rodgers didn’t like that there were reports about what he said, and feels the Jets need to do a better job of keeping things in-house.
“That was one of the more disappointing things about the entire weekend,” Rodgers said. “Part of the process of being a team that’s connected and being a team that sticks together is there are some things that are meant for the locker room. And conversations that should stay in the meeting room, should stay in the locker room, should stay in the hotel. I loved the opportunity to speak to the team. I thought the message was important.
“We need to learn as an organization that some things need to be kept in-house. We have to tighten the ship up a little bit.”