NFL

New York Jets QB Aaron Rodgers cleared to practice

By Sports Desk November 29, 2023

Aaron Rodgers has taken the next step towards a potential return before the end of the season, as the New York Jets designated the star quarterback to return from injured reserve on Wednesday.

The move allows Rodgers, recovering from surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles tendon he suffered in the Sept. 11 season opener, to resume practising and gives the Jets a 21-day window to return him to the active roster.

NFL.com reported earlier this month that Rodgers was targeting the Jets' home game against the Washington Commanders on Dec. 24 as a potential return date. The four-time NFL MVP, who turns 40 on Saturday, has stated that he would only play again this season if physically able and if the Jets are still in the playoff race.

New York currently sits two games behind the Indianapolis Colts for the AFC's final wild card spot after losing its last four games to drop to 4-7. 

Jets coach Robert Saleh said that it's still unclear whether Rodgers will be back this season, as he categorised the decision to open the veteran's practice window as the next part of the rehabilitation process.

"This isn't so much getting ready to play as it is a progression in his rehab," Saleh told reporters Wednesday.

Saleh added that Rodgers will be limited to light throwing drills this week and has yet to be cleared for contact.

"What he will be doing in practice is no different than what he'd be doing on (a side field) as (the media) watch it," he said. "With regards to certain drills and individual, being able to throw ... instead of throwing with staff members he'll be throwing with teammates.

"There's no added risk to it. There's certain things he's been cleared for that we're going to allow him to do."

Should Rodgers play again in 2023, it would complete a remarkably speedy recovery from a serious injury, as Achilles tears generally require a rehab period between nine and 12 months.

Rodgers was injured on the Jets' third official play from scrimmage of the season when he was sacked by Buffalo's Leonard Floyd in New York's Week 1 win over the Bills, bringing a sudden and shocking ending to one of the most anticipated player debuts with a new team in NFL history.

The Jets acquired Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers, the team he spent his first 18 seasons with and led to a Super Bowl title in 2010, in April.

Rodgers' injury has greatly dampened hopes for a Jets team that entered the season with very high aspirations, with inconsistent quarterback play a major factor in their disappointing record.

The Jets rank 30th of 32 teams in scoring at 14.8 points per game and 31st in total offense with Zach Wilson seeing the majority of time as Rodgers' replacement. Saleh benched Wilson in favor of journeyman TIm Boyle for last week's 34-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins. 

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    The Kansas City Chiefs confirmed their players, coaches and staff were all safe and accounted for.

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    Kansas City Police Department chief Stacey Graves said at a press conference: “At the conclusion of the Chiefs’ rally today, there were shots fired on the west side of Union Station.

    “Immediately, officers responded to the area, took two people into custody and also immediately rendered life-sustaining aid to those victims.”

    At a later briefing, she added: “We have confirmed there is one deceased person. Our gunshot total has went up to 22.

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    “We do have three persons detained and under investigation for today’s incident.

    “Our investigators are working with all of the surviving victims to connect them with loved ones. We are also working to identify our deceased victim so we can notify their family as soon as possible.”

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    “We are truly saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred outside of Union Station at the conclusion of today’s parade and rally,” the team said in a statement.

    “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and all of Kansas City.

    “We are in close communication with the Mayor’s office as well as the Kansas City Police Department.

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    A statement from the NFL read: “We are deeply saddened by the senseless shooting that occurred today near the end of the rally in Kansas City for the Chiefs. Our thoughts are with the victims and everyone affected.

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