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Jets’ Aaron Rodgers takes big step in hopeful return from Achilles injury

The New York Jets opened the 21-day practice window for Aaron Rodgers on Wednesday, sparking hope the quarterback could return this season just mere months after tearing his Achilles.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters that it doesn’t necessarily mean Rodgers is going to come back and play, but is rather a “progression in his rehab.”

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Zach Wilson and Aaron Rodgers of the Jets during the Miami Dolphins game at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 24, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Chris Pedota, NorthJersey.com/USA Today Network)

“For Aaron, what he would be doing in practice is no different than what he’d be doing on the field with regard to certain drills in the individual – instead of throwing with staff members, he’s throwing with teammates,” Saleh told reporters. “There’s no added risk to it. There’s certain things he’s been cleared for that we’re going to allow him to do.”

Saleh lauded Rodgers’ drive and motivation for pushing himself to get back to where he is and the want and need for him to be with his teammates.

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Aaron Rodgers looks on

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers before the Miami Dolphins game at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 24, 2023. (Robert Deutsch-USA Today Sports)

“He’s sacrificed so much already for the organization and himself and his teammates and he’s doing it again. I think it’s a testament to who he is as a human,” Saleh added.

Rodgers’ timeline is still really unclear.

He tried to lay it out the best he could in his appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” this week.

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aaron rodgers vs bills

Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets takes the field for the Buffalo Bills game at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 11, 2023. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

“It’s always been, 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 the level I feel like I’m capable of? But the first part is the health. …” Rodgers said.

“Once I’m healthy, then it’s where we’re at, are we alive, are we in it… It’s health first, and are we alive for the playoffs second.”

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New York is 4-7 entering Week 13 and their playoff hopes are dwindling.

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