Aaron Rodgers returned to the field on Sunday and many were surprised at how well the Achilles injury looked. During the pregame, he threw balls with his teammates and was able to stand for the whole game without the help of crutches. Head coach Robert Saleh fueled the frenzy of an early return on Good Morning Football this week saying Rodgers is “fueled by doubt”. While Jets fans are in a frenzy, doctors have thrown some cold water on the theory that Rodgers could return this season.
Doctors Slow Hype Train On Aaron Rodgers Achilles Injury Recovery
The New York Post had conversations with four prominent orthopedic surgeons in the New York area about Rodgers’ plan to return at some point in the season. None of them are in support of the idea from a medical standpoint. While they admitted that it is possible, the stress on the tendon would make it a huge risk.
John Kennedy, the professor of orthopedic surgery and chief of the foot and ankle division at NYU Langone had this to say.
“That would be an exceptional recovery. Professional athletes are exceptional human beings who do things the rest of us can’t do, and maybe he will. And if he does then we’re all wrong and it’ll be fantastic for the Jets and for Aaron. But if it all goes horribly wrong, that would be the risk that most of us [doctors] would say he would take if he came back in that kind of accelerated time, 14 weeks. That’s a very, very short time.’’
Dr. Peter DeLuca, the chief of sports medicine at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center added that “the reward would be greater than the risk.’’
What About The Innovative Surgery?
Rodgers has been touting the innovative surgery that will speed up the recovery process and while the medical professionals agree that it can speed things up, that doesn’t mean the tendon is ready to play football on. DeLuca said that the surgery, “speeds up the rehab, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it speeds up the return to play.’’ Dr. Spencer Stein, the assistant professor of orthopedic surgery in the division of sports medicine at NYU Langone added this.
“Even though [the speed bridge] is a newer technique and may enhance the recovery, there’s still that time it takes for the tendon to heal, and I would think you’d have to cautious for sending him back [to play] too early, because you don’t want to re-tear,”
The doctors are in agreement. While Aaron Rodgers could come back from this injury sooner than expected, he would be putting himself at an enormous risk of re-injury.
For Green Bay Packers fans, the glimmer of hope that the 65% snaps mark could get reached has been dashed. It is worth noting that there is reporting out there that suggests that Rodgers will miss the whole year and this whole story might have been a fabricated idea to get Rodgers in the news cycle. Hopefully, he can make a full recovery from his Achilles injury and see the field again in 2024.