The New York Jets designated QB Aaron Rodgers to return from injured reserve. Rodgers, who ruptured his Achilles in Week 1 - 79 days ago - will begin practicing with the team. The team can activate him at any time in the next three weeks.
Coach Robert Saleh told reporters that doctors cleared Rodgers for "functional football activity" but not to play yet.
"Aaron is not going to do anything that puts himself in harm’s way," Saleh said.
Rodgers has been adamant he wants to do the impossible and return this season. He underwent a "speed bridge" Achilles repair that enhances the strength of the tendon and guards it against stretching. Rams running back Cam Akers previously did it in 2021 and returned for the postseason.
On Tuesday, Rodgers acknowledged on The Pat McAfee Show the Jets’ playoff status would play a role in his return. The team has lost four straight and is 4-7 and would need a lot to go their way for a potential playoff spot.
The Jets acquired Rodgers in an offseason trade with the Green Bay Packers, but he suffered the Achilles injury on the fourth play of the season. He was replaced by former No. 2 overall pick Zach Wilson, who started the next nine games before being benched in favor of veteran Tim Boyle. Boyle will make his second start on Sunday when the Jets host the Atlanta Falcons.
Rodgers turns 40 years old on Saturday.