The New York Jets landed superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers in an offseason blockbuster trade. But his time under center was short-lived after he injured his Achilles on the fourth play of the season.
Rodgers has since undergone an innovative surgery that could accelerate the quarterback’s recovery time.
Normally, Achilles injuries require anywhere from nine months to a year of recovery time. But Rodgers has suggested he’ll suit up again this season, and he doubled down Saturday on his hope to play again this year.
“It’s a process, step by step, day by day,” Rodgers told NBC Sports when he appeared at Santa Anita Park for the Breeders’ Cup. “There’s some great days, some rough days. But the goal for me is to come back this year.”
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The 39-year-old quarterback did caution that he has to reach a few benchmarks before he can play again.
“It’s got to be — otherwise, I think it’d be a lot of rehab in vain. We’ll see what happens. I’ve got to hit some markers before that. I’ve got to be able to move around. I’ve got to be able to avoid putting myself in harm’s way.”
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On Friday, Rodgers posted a cryptic message on his social media account.
“A little more time…,” Rodgers wrote alongside a photo of his new Zenith watch on Instagram. Rodgers has a partnership with the luxury watch brand.
There have been some signs of hope, the most recent coming last weekend when he dropped back and put some weight on his injured left leg while throwing several passes during warmups before the Jets’ game against the New York Giants.
Zach Wilson has faced criticism for his uneven play during his tenure with the Jets, and he entered this season as the backup to Rodgers. He was thrust back into the starting role once Rodgers went down.
Rodgers praised Wilson’s play.
“The team’s been playing good,” Rodgers said. “Proud of Zach, proud of the boys. We’re 4-3. We’ve got a big one on Monday night and one coming up on NBC the following week. So, excited to head back there (Sunday) and see the fellas, cheer on a win and keep getting better.”
Rodgers is a longtime horse racing enthusiast. His pick for Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic was the Japanese horse Ushba Tesoro, the No. 8 horse in the race. Rodgers picked him because his jersey number is 8 and told NBC he still regrets not betting the No. 8 in the Kentucky Derby in May.
The Jets host to the Los Angeles Chargers Monday night.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.