February 21, 2024

Aaron Rodgers has long been vocal that he wants to return this season – but he’s not going to force it.

The four-time MVP suffered what everyone thought was a season-ending injury in just his fourth snap in a New York Jets uniform, abruptly ending any expectations Jets fans had.

Despite his injury, Gang Green actually started the season at 4-3, still leaving them in the playoff discussion. However, they have lost four straight, and it looks like the league’s longest playoff drought will stretch to a 13th season.

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Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 15, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

As soon as Rodgers told everyone to “give me your doubts, give me your prognostications and then watch what I do,” it seemed like a glimmer of hope that as long as the Jets were in the playoff mix, Rodgers could return for January football.

But Rodgers on Tuesday admitted that the Jets’ playoff chances will play a factor in whether he returns or not.

“It’s always been, first, am I healthy? And then, are we alive? Are we in it? Are we playing good enough to make a run? Can I step in and protect myself and play at the level I feel like I’m capable of? But the first part is the health…” Rodgers told “The Pat McAfee Show.”

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Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets on hand before the Kansas City Chiefs game at MetLife Stadium on Oct. 1, 2023. (Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

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“Once I’m healthy, then it’s where we’re at, are we alive, are we in it… It’s health first, and are we alive for the playoffs second.”

Rodgers added he is “not at an ability to play at this point.”

The Jets acquired Rodgers in the offseason after he spent 18 seasons in Green Bay. It automatically put the Jets in not only the playoff conversation, but some thought they could be sneaky Super Bowl contenders.

Aaron Rodgers before an NFL game

Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets during the national anthem prior to the Buffalo Bills game at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 11, 2023. (Michael Owens/Getty Images)

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However, since Rodgers’ injury, just about everything else has gone wrong, with several offensive linemen hurt, Zach Wilson benched for Tim Boyle, poor play from supposed key players, and an inability to score at all. They have just 10 offensive touchdowns this entire season, and three in their last five games.

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