It sounds like the New York Jets won’t shut quarterback Aaron Rodgers down as long as he wants to play again before the club’s season ends.
“Aaron’s a big boy, a grown man, and no one’s going to know Aaron’s body like Aaron knows his body,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh told reporters on Wednesday, per Rich Cimini of ESPN. “And if he feels after all the doctors clear him — I’m sure there’s a million of them, I have no idea — but if Aaron says he wants to play, he’s going to play.”
Rodgers continues to baffle outsiders and even spark conspiracy theories with the remarkable recovery he’s made from the torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1. With that said, the future Hall of Famer who turns 40 years old on Dec. 2 suggested during a Tuesday appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” that he is at least “three or four weeks” away from possibly taking the field.
The 4-5 Jets plays at the 5-5 Buffalo Bills this coming Sunday.
“The pressure to keep the season afloat is just to keep it afloat,” Saleh said about the Jets attempting to remain in postseason contention until Rodgers can return atop the depth chart in place of temporary starter Zach Wilson. “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.”
Without Rodgers, the Jets have scored eight offensive touchdowns over nine games and zero over their past 11 quarters of play. Jets star wide receiver Garrett Wilson revealed during a Tuesday radio interview that he and others participated in a players-only meeting following this past Sunday’s 16-12 loss at the Las Vegas Raiders “to make sure we’re all on the same page about where we’re at and how the hell we get out of this funk.”
Rodgers plans to rejoin the Jets full-time ahead of their home game against the Miami Dolphins (6-3) on Nov. 24.
“I have an admiration for him,” Saleh added about Rodgers. “We’re very young on the offensive side of the ball and his veteran presence is always welcome. [He’ll be able to] just get himself back in the building, get reacclimated around his teammates, re-involved in meetings. Then whenever his clock starts, it starts — if he’s able.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, oddschecker listed the Jets as seven-point underdogs for Sunday’s matchup at Buffalo’s Highmark Stadium.