What was once viewed as the longest of longshots is becoming more and more likely. New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been working hard to rehab a torn Achilles suffered on Sept. 11, and he is reportedly closing in on his return to the field.
According to NFL Media, it's possible Rodgers could practice this week for the Jets. Ian Rapoport does mention it seems more likely Rodgers will return to practice next week, but the Jets are just waiting for him to be cleared. Head coach Robert Saleh the team is awaiting that "doctor's note."
As for when Rodgers could return to real action, NFL Media reports the four-time NFL MVP is targeting the Week 16 Christmas Eve matchup against the Washington Commanders. Rodgers had previously said he was targeting a mid-December return, and Fox Sports reported that Rodgers wants to play regardless of the team's place in the playoff picture.
The Jets have now lost four straight games, and enter Sunday as the No. 14 seed in the AFC with a 4-7 record. Rodgers' backup, Zach Wilson, was benched for Tim Boyle in Week 12, but the QB switch didn't spark the offense as New York was blown out by the rival Miami Dolphins, 34-13.
Nothing is a given when it comes to Rodgers' potential return. ProFootballTalk has previously reported that the veteran signal-caller could be sidelined until OTAs in 2024. It's also worth questioning why Rodgers would return if the Jets aren't in the playoff mix, and further risk his health behind what has been one of the worst offensive lines in the league. Regardless, NFL Media reports we should be on "Rodgers watch."