It’s “not out of the question” that Aaron Rodgers could return this season, sources said. But he has not and will not put a specific timeline on his return.
Rams’ running back Cam Akers tore his Achilles and came back faster than virtually any professional athlete: just under five months. Rodgers tore his Achilles Sept. 11 — exactly five months to the day of this season’s Super Bowl in Las Vegas.
Of course, there are other factors that will play into any potential quick return. The Jets have to do their part by winning and make his return possible and worthwhile. Then there is the question of how his replacement Zach Wilson will be playing. If Wilson is shining, Rodgers will not want to interfere with his progress.
Rodgers will be expected to look at the entire situation, not just his condition, to see if a return at some point this season is even possible, as much of a longshot as it might be, per sources.
But at the very least, the comforting part for the Jets and Rodgers’ fans is that he clearly intends to try to play again, and now the recovery process that will start in Los Angeles and continue in New Jersey will determine how long it will take.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who operated on Rodgers this week in Los Angeles, repaired Kobe Bryant’s torn Achilles in 2013, and it took him eight months to return to action.
NBA all-star Kevin Durant tore his Achilles in June 2019 and returned in December 2020, some 18 months later.
Former Atlanta Hawks standout Dominique Wilkins tore his in January 1992 and came back the following November, 10 months later.
Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham tore his in September 2021 and returned the following September, one year later.
Since then, surgical techniques have evolved, therapy techniques have evolved, so Rodgers has that going for him as well. Now he will have a chance to mount his own comeback, as soon as late this season, certainly by next season, but with no specific timeline other than to play again.