FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers took a few more steps in his comeback attempt from a torn left Achilles tendon.
Coach Robert Saleh said Friday the 40-year-old quarterback “pushed it a little bit” at practice Thursday, when he was listed as a limited participant after sitting out Wednesday.
Saleh said Rodgers, who was hurt four snaps into his debut with the team on Sept. 11, took some snaps under center, ran some bootleg plays and jogged during practice.
“He looks normal to me,” said Saleh, with a laugh. “It’s unbelievable. Credit to him, especially in this day and age where a hangnail can affect a game week, but this dude is grinding to try to get himself back. It just shows how much he cares. I have an appreciation for him.”
Rodgers has participated in individual and 7-on-7 drills. The next step is for the four-time NFL MVP to participate in 11-on-11 drills, although it’s uncertain when that might happen.
The Jets opened the 21-day practice window for Rodgers on Nov. 29, when he was cleared for some football activities but not for contact. That window expires next Wednesday, when the Jets have to either activate him from injured reserve or Rodgers will be placed on IR for the rest of the season.
Rodgers has set his sights on playing again on Dec. 24, when the Jets host Washington. He has said he needs to feel he can properly protect himself on the field, the Jets have to remain in the playoff hunt — and doctors must clear him to play. Rodgers said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” there remain “some things I’ve got to do in order to be able to be cleared.”
He had surgery on Sept. 13, a procedure that reportedly included placing an internal brace called a “speed bridge” on Rodgers’ Achilles tendon to help expedite the healing process. If Rodgers plays this season, he would complete the quickest known comeback from that injury among professional athletes.
The Jets (5-8) travel to Miami to face the AFC East-rival Dolphins (9-4) on Sunday with Zach Wilson starting at quarterback. Wilson rebounded from a two-game benching to throw for 301 yards in New York’s 30-6 victory over Houston last Sunday. The third-year quarterback was selected the AFC offensive player of the week for the first time in his career.
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