‘Aaron’s a big boy’: Jets coach on potential Rodgers return from injury

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Aaron Rodgers says he expects to be back this season for the New York Jets. If cleared, and if he’s willing to return, his head coach won’t be stopping him.

During a news conference Wednesday, Jets coach Robert Saleh said Rodgers would have final say on the decision to return to field, from his torn left Achilles tendon suffered during the team’s first offensive possession of the season.

‘Aaron’s a big boy, a grown man and no one’s going to know Aaron’s body like Aaron knows his body,’ Saleh said. ‘And if he feels, after all the doctors clear him, and I’m sure there’s a million of them, I have no idea on that stuff, but if Aaron says he wants to play, he’s going to play.’

Rodgers sustained the injury during an eventual 22-16 Jets victory over the Buffalo Bills. Since then, he has made accelerated progress and has made clear his desire to return to the field before the end of the season. That would be an unprecedented timeline; typically, Achilles tendon tears require a year to fully heal.

Rodgers, who turns 40 on Dec. 2, has been walking without crutches and without an orthopedic boot commonly used in recovery. He has even thrown passes during warmups before Jets games.

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Saleh’s comments come one day after Rodgers’ appearance on ‘The Pat McAfee Show,’ in which he reiterated his desire to return. Rodgers did say, though, that New York’s performance would dictate his availability.

‘There’s no set date,’ Rodgers said Tuesday. ‘It could change. If I have a great week this week and next week, that could be accelerated. If we are not in it in three or four weeks, that could take it a different way, but I expect us to be in it and I expect to come back, so that’s about all I can tell you at this point.’

The Jets (4-5) are one of 12 teams with at least four victories in a crowded AFC. New York has lost its last two games and faces a divisional foe Sunday in the Buffalo Bills (5-5).

‘The pressure to keep the season afloat is just to keep it afloat,’ Saleh said. ‘The pressure to go to the playoffs is always pressure. It’s not for any one individual. It’s not for any possibility. It’s for competitors who want to win football games, and I think Aaron’s just the icing.’

Rodgers also said Tuesday that he plans to rejoin the Jets full-time soon, joining the regular schedule of meetings, film sessions and other team activities.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY