Less than five weeks after rupturing his Achilles on just his fourth play of the season, New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers was on the MetLife Stadium turf throwing a football.
Rodgers had yet to even complete a pass for the Jets when he suffered the injury in Gang Green’s first drive in the game against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 11.
But later that same week, he told the doubters to give him whatever timetables they could think of “and then watch what I do.“
It was a subtle way of saying he aims to return to playing this season, which is practically unheard of for this type of injury. But on Tuesday, he was much more blunt.
On Tuesday’s “Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers said he “obviously” is “ahead of schedule.”
“There are a lot of factors to that. There’s the way that I’ve attacked the rehab; there’s obviously the surgery that Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache did; there’s the rehab that I’ve done and kind of the around-the-clock approach that I’ve had; there’s implementing the diet that I’ve been doing as well; and then just the power of the mind and the power of manifestation of the desires,” he said.
Throwing this past Sunday was one of the “critical markers” Rodgers needed to hit, yet he has several more.
“You saw me walk without crutches and throw on the field. Another marker’s gonna be jogging. And then another marker’s gonna be going through a pregame workout, probably, and get on a practice field. All of these are gonna take time. There’s critical markers I have to hit,” he explained.
Rodgers said he felt “great” throwing, and “had just a little bit of a limp.”
“Standing and throwing is not a problem. Moving in a small, little area is not a problem. I was excited to get back out there. It just felt a little more normal, in a time that anything has been the abnormal, anything I’ve tried to do. So nice to be able to be back out there,” he said.
Wednesday will mark five weeks since Rodgers underwent what he called “innovative” surgery, but he still wants to be smart in his quest to return.
“Stress, okay, stretch, not okay,” he said. “So, it’s just about being smart with the rehab and pushing it as much as I can and then backing off on the days that I don’t feel great.”
Despite Rodgers’ absence, the Jets are still in the thick of the playoff hunt, standing at 3-3 moving into their bye week after handing the Philadelphia Eagles their first loss of the season.