Why Aaron Rodgers Returning to the Jets Makes No Sense
The Reality of the Jets’ Quarterback Situation
The New York Jets are facing a quarterback dilemma, but there is one scenario that simply doesn’t make any sense – Aaron Rodgers returning to play for the team this season. Despite the Jets’ championship-ready defense, their struggling offense has been a major setback. However, the illusion of Rodgers’ imminent return serves no purpose for the team’s present or future circumstances.
The Continuous “What If?” Question
Since the Jets’ season opener against the Bills, where Rodgers tore his Achilles tendon just four plays into the game, there has been a lingering question of “what if?” What if Rodgers could come back? What if the Jets didn’t have to rely on rookie Zach Wilson? What if they had average quarterback play? These tantalizing possibilities, however, are nothing more than an alternate reality that has no bearing on the current events.
An Unprecedented Recovery
Returning at this rate of speed would be unprecedented for Rodgers. It has only been two months since his Achilles tear, and such a level of recovery has never been seen in the NFL before. The closest comparison is Cam Akers, the current Vikings running back who tore his Achilles in July 2021. Although Akers made a miraculous recovery, he hasn’t been the same player since. His performance has significantly declined, and he recently suffered another Achilles tear that will sideline him for the rest of the season.
The Age Factor
Another crucial factor to consider is Rodgers’ age. Turning 40 next month, recovering from an Achilles tear and having the strength and dexterity to protect himself on the field behind a struggling offensive line defies what has previously been known as possible. Akers had about six weeks of recovery time before the regular season started, while Rodgers got injured during the Jets’ first game.
The Question of “Why?”
One must question why Rodgers keeps insinuating a return. Being able to gingerly throw against air before a game doesn’t guarantee his ability to suit up before the season ends. It’s understandable that Rodgers may want to play, considering his career is nearing its end, but it doesn’t mean he should. The Jets’ current offensive supporting cast might not even be able to protect and shield a player fresh off an Achilles tear.
The Playoff Contention Dilemma
If the Jets fail to make the playoffs this season with Wilson as their quarterback, all of this discussion becomes irrelevant. Currently holding the 11th seed in the AFC, the Jets need to keep pace with several teams to secure a playoff spot. While their defense is of high quality, winning with an offense as poor as the Jets’ unit is extremely difficult. If the Jets are out of playoff contention, there is absolutely no reason for Rodgers to return.
Waiting for Full Strength
Rodgers’ continuous insinuations about returning this season have sparked discussions, but it doesn’t have to be a miraculous medical miracle. Instead, it would be wise to wait until next year to see if Rodgers can return to form once he is truly at full strength.