Aaron Rodgers return: Jets QB looks to 2024 and beyond in New York with NFL playoff hopes dashed

It appears that Aaron Rodgers’ comeback has been put on hold … for now.

The Jets quarterback acknowledged during his Tuesday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” that it would be difficult for him to play again during the 2023 NFL season despite his aggressive rehabilitation of a torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1.

“It was unrealistic to think that I would be 100% to be medically cleared at any point during the regular season,” Rodgers admitted on the show. “I do feel like, you know, in the next three to four weeks, it would be very possible to get to 100% but obviously [we’re] not there.”

Rodgers’ status had been the subject of speculation for most of the 2023 NFL season. It was believed that if the Jets could remain in playoff contention, he might have a chance to return to action.

However, the Jets were eliminated from postseason consideration via their 30-0 loss to the Dolphins in Week 15. As such, Rodgers’ season is likely over, though he acknowledged he would have attempted to come back despite that if he was fully healthy.

“If I was 100% today, I’d definitely be pushing to play,” Rodgers said.

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Aaron Rodgers Jets return 

With that established, it should come as no surprise that Rodgers wants to play in 2024. He explained that he wanted to play “at least two years” when he came to the Jets, and that hasn’t changed.

“I feel like this year is kind of a lost year now that I only played a couple of snaps,” he said. “[I] wasn’t able to go out there and prove what I’m capable of and see what we’re capable of as a team.”

And beyond that?

“I don’t think that next year will be my last year,” he said.

Rodgers, who turned 40 on Dec. 2, said the main reason his timeline has extended is that he has found the right people to help with his “nutrition and my functional training.”

“I feel like I can play more years and I can be effective into my 40s which is crazy because I thought that I’d probably be sitting on a couch somewhere at 40,” Rodgers said. “But now, I want to be a starter at 40; I want to be a starter at 41; I want to see what I can get out of this body.”

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Rodgers also credited his Jets teammates and coaches with helping to make his transition to New York seamless. That camaraderie is another reason that he wants to keep playing.

“I felt like when I came here that I got kind of a renewed passionate love for the game,” Rodgers said. “And everything has been amazing here. Just the people I’ve gotten to work with — the relationships I’ve gotten to form with my teammates and the amazing men and women that work here at 1 Jets Drive has been really special.”

So, NFL fans can take solace in the fact that Rodgers’ career isn’t over yet. And if the Jets quarterback can stay healthy in 2024 and beyond, he might even have a few seasons left in the tank.

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