Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers is defying expectations, expressing his determination to return to the field by mid-December, regardless of the team’s playoff chances. Rich Cimini of ESPN reports that Rodgers aims to resume practice around his 40th birthday on December 2.

While Rodgers initially backtracked on his ambitious mid-December return goal, linking it to the team’s playoff contention, recent developments suggest a shift in focus. Despite the Jets’ 4-6 record and a 14th seed in the AFC, seven spots away from a wild-card position, Rodgers draws inspiration from historical examples, citing the 2016 Packers and 2009 Jets, who rallied from 4-6 starts to reach Conference Championship Games.

According to Jay Glazer of FOX Sports, Rodgers is no longer fixated on the team’s playoff prospects. Even if the Jets are out of contention, he is determined to showcase a rapid recovery from his Achilles tear, aiming for a comeback faster than any quarterback in history. Rodgers is willing to return in a limited capacity, prioritizing the accomplishment of playing some form of the quarterback position this season.

While Rodgers reportedly eyes a return this week, head coach Robert Saleh emphasizes that medical clearance is paramount. Saleh dismisses Rodgers’ updates and targets as “a moot point” until team doctors give the green light. Despite Rodgers’ optimism, Saleh insists on adhering to medical advice, cautioning against placing too much weight on the quarterback’s statements.

If Rodgers follows through with his plan, December 6 could mark his designation for return, initiating a 21-day practice window. This aligns with a potential comeback on Christmas Eve against the Commanders, a date informally targeted for his return.

However, Saleh remains cautious, underscoring the significance of medical clearance over Rodgers’ personal timelines. Regardless of Rodgers’ eagerness and perceived progress, Saleh emphasizes the need for approval from the team’s medical professionals as the ultimate factor in determining the quarterback’s return to action.



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