Aaron Rodgers Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday saw New York Jets’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers discuss on The Pat McAfee Show that he won’t be healthy enough to return to playing this season following ACL surgery. That came despite a lot of previous conversation from Rodgers that he might be able to heal faster from that surgery than any NFL player ever had.

Well, Rodgers still isn’t going to suit up on game day for the Jets this season. But they did activate him from injured reserve to their 53-man roster Wednesday in a move to let him keep practicing with the team.

Here’s how head coach Robert Saleh addressed that:

“He’ll be active. We’re still going to keep him on the active. We’ve got the roster flexibility with all the different things that have happened over the past couple of weeks. It’s still part of his rehab, and just having him out on the football field is a plus for everybody. It’s a plus for him, it’s a plus for his teammates. So we’re going to keep him on the 53. …To continue his rehab, it’s all part of the rehab. There will be days when he’s out there, days when he’s not. Like I said, we just have the roster flexibility, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to afford to do this. …No, no, he’s not playing.”

NFL roster rules allow for 53 people on the active roster and two elevated from the 14-man practice squad weekly without counting against that limit, but only 48 game-day active players. So yes, there can be room for a player like Rodgers to be on the active roster but inactive on game days so he doesn’t waste one of the gameday slots. And it wouldn’t make sense to try and put Rodgers on the practice squad, as that opens up a chance for waiver claims from other teams. But it’s still highly unusual to see a player on an active roster who a team has no intention of playing this season.

This fits with how Rodgers-centric the Jets have been, though. The team brought in several of Rodgers’ preferred targets this summer, some even before officially acquiring him. And they’ve stuck with him despite his criticisms of the team’s performance and of internal leaks, and through all his drama about a potential injury return. And they may keep head coach Saleh and GM Joe Douglas because of his endorsement of them. So this organization is all about Rodgers at this point. And activating him so he can keep practicing the way he wants to despite an inability to actually play fits with that.

[New York Jets on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.