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#pounditThursday, February 22, 2024

Aaron Rodgers takes 1 huge step toward return

Aaron Rodgers looking on with the sun in his eyes

Florham Park, NJ May 31, 2023 — Aaron Rodgers during the Jets OTA. Photo Credit: Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK

Aaron Rodgers has taken a huge step toward returning from the torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1.

The New York Jets on Wednesday designated Rodgers to return from injured reserve. That means the star quarterback’s 21-day window to practice with the team has officially been opened.

The Jets will now have three weeks to add Rodgers to the active roster. If he is not added to the 53-man roster by then, he would be ineligible to play for the remainder of the season.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh spoke with reporters about the development and seemed to make an effort to temper expectations.

“This isn’t so much getting ready to play as it is a progression in his rehab. … There’s certain things that he’s been cleared for that we’re going to allow him to do,” Saleh said.

There have been reports that Rodgers wants to return when the Jets host the Washington Commanders on Dec. 24. The Jets have placed him on track to do that by opening his practice window.

Rodgers indicated this week that the Jets would have to be in position to make a playoff push in order for him to play again this season. The team fell to 4-7 with their loss to the Miami Dolphins last week, so there is a chance Rodgers and the Jets will not want to risk having the 39-year-old take the field in a few weeks.

Either way, it is remarkable that Rodgers is even planning to return to the practice field. He tore his Achilles on Sept. 11, and most assumed at the time that he would be out for the season. There is now a legitimate possibility he will be back under center less than four months after suffering the injury.

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