When the Green Bay Packers traded Aaron Rodgers to the New York Jets, it signaled a new era for both franchises. The Packers were moving forward with a young roster led by their 2020 first round pick, Jordan Love. The Jets, on the other hand, loaded up their roster with several of Rodgers’ friends to compliment their young core of players.
The terms of the the trade were a first round pick swap in the 2023 NFL Draft, a 2023 second round pick, and a conditional 2024 second round pick. In the event that Rodgers played 65% of the Jets’ offensive snaps this season, the conditional second round pick would become a first round pick.
Of course, Rodgers’ season lasted all of four offensive snaps. In New York’s opening game against the Buffalo Bills, Rodgers tore his Achilles, effectively ending his 2023 NFL season.
Could Aaron Rodgers Return for the New York Jets This Season?
Or did it? Rodgers has been adamant that he would be able to come back this season, though he backed off that a bit this week saying it would depend on the Jets’ playoff chances. As it stands, they are 4-7 and have benched Zach Wilson in favor of Tim Boyle.
In other words, even if Rodgers is able to come back, he probably won’t. First of all, no player has ever recovered from a torn Achilles that quickly. Second of all, if the Jets are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, which will probably happen soon, there is no reason for a 40-year old coming back from a torn Achilles in record time to risk a set back.
Green Bay Packers and NFL Fans React to Aaron Rodgers Returning to New York Jets Practice
This all being said, ESPN’s Adam Schefter did report today that the Jets have designated Rodgers for return from injured reserve.
Aaron Rodgers tore his Achilles 79 days ago. Today, Jets’ HC Robert Saleh said Rodgers has been cleared for “functional football activity”. pic.twitter.com/hN7hkyB6mt
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 29, 2023
They have 21 days to activate him or return him to injured reserve. However, since he has been designated for return, Rodgers can return to practice with the team. It is this development that both Packers fans and other NFL fans had hilarious reactions to:
Aaron Rodgers’ achilles on his first dropback at practice today pic.twitter.com/yGPGtHbYtb
— GhettoGronk (@TheGhettoGronk) November 29, 2023
Aaron Rodgers returning to Jets practice this week pic.twitter.com/tFkoUUj3zC
— Shooter McGavin (@ShooterMcGavin_) November 29, 2023
Aaron Rodgers This Morning: pic.twitter.com/947aER2HIt
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) November 29, 2023
Imagine if Aaron Rodgers tried as hard to get on the same page with his rookie WRs as he’s tried to come back to play for this aggressively mediocre Jets team
— Peter Bukowski (@Peter_Bukowski) November 29, 2023
He might be fine but the intelligent person in me thinks Aaron Rodgers practicing this soon is a terrible idea
— lindsey ok (@lindseyyok) November 29, 2023
It is truly incredible that Rodgers has been able to return to practice 79 days after tearing his Achilles. However, there is a big difference between practice and a game. He can’t wear a red jersey in Week 18.
If the Jets believe they have a serious chance at being contenders with Rodgers in 2024, their best decision would be to keep him off the field, no matter how badly he may want to get back on it.