As soon as Aaron Rodgers went down with a ruptured Achilles on Monday Night Football, the question wasn’t whether or not he’d return for the 2023 NFL season, but if he’d ever return to the football field ever again.
However, according to a new report, the New York Jets quarterback could potentially see the football field again this season thanks to an innovative and new surgery.
According to NFL insiders Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero, Rodgers has undergone a procedure with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Neal ElAttrache that puts an internal brace in his torn Achilles that would presumably protect the repair and allow him to return much sooner than athletes usually do from that kind of injury.
Why does #Jets QB Aaron Rodgers have a potential playoff return in his sights? An innovative surgery procedure to repair his Achilles.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 17, 2023
While a ruptured Achilles usually requires at least six months of recovery time, this “speed bridge” could have Rodgers back and ready to play by mid-January, which would be right around the time of the NFL Playoffs.
Of course, there are a lot of “ifs” in this scenario. One, will the 39-year-old truly be back in game shape in order to give it a go by that point? Two, will the Jets make the playoffs? And three, if they’re good enough to make the playoffs with Zach Wilson or another quarterback, why switch it up to a hobbled Rodgers with a potential Super Bowl run on the line?
“The speed bridge does not guarantee a quicker return, though it is said to enhance the strength of the repair and guard it against stretching, sources say,” writes Rapoport and Pelissero. “So much depends on how Rodgers’ rehab goes and how his body responds as he turns 40 in December. If there is no reason to push the return — i.e. the Jets are not in the playoffs — then this would be moot.”
Per the reports, a lot of this will depend on Rodgers’ rehab and whether or not the surgery repairs the rupture well.
Still, the possibility that Rodgers could return for a Jets playoff run garnered some interesting reactions.
They would have to make the playoffs for that to happen which we all know won’t happen
— Drink More Water | Get More Sleep 🐬 (@hughart_michael) September 17, 2023
He’s back for playoffs story book script
— Fantasy Fanatics (@FFB_Fanatics) September 17, 2023
Aaron Rodgers aside, it’s remarkable the progress that Dr. Elattrache and others have made in sports medicine. This is an incredible development for high level athletes.
— Kevin Bunk (@KevinBunk1) September 17, 2023
So some other QB is going lead the Jets through the entire season to a playoff berth, and they’ll just push that guy aside for Rodgers?
— Joe Chenelly 🇺🇸 (@jchenelly) September 17, 2023