If Aaron Rodgers receives medical clearance and wants to play this season, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh said the four-time NFL MVP will take the field.
“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 Wednesday. “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, who turns 40 on Dec. 2, is attempting to come back from a ruptured Achillies and is targeting a mid-December return.
“We’ve got to be in the mix, and I’ve got to be healthy, and I definitely still want to come back,” Rodgers said Tuesday on ESPN.
Part of his decision will depend on whether the Jets (4-5) can stay in the playoff hunt. On a two-game losing streak, the Jets play a pair of rivals ahead of them in the AFC East, the Buffalo Bills (5-5) on Sunday and Miami Dolphins (6-3) on the day after Thanksgiving.
Rodgers has been rehabbing in Los Angeles and flying to attend Jets games. He said he’s planning to fully rejoin the team next week.
“I would imagine he’s going to want to acclimate to the meetings and reconnect himself,” Saleh said. “There’s been a lot of changes to the system since he’s been out, and just trying to figure things out with the guys that we have.
“I have an admiration for him. 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.”
If cleared to resume practicing, Rogers will have 21 days to be activated. If the Jets don’t activate him, he will remain on injured reserve for the rest of the season.