After Aaron Rodgers tore his left Achilles completely, many predicted that he would be out for the season and miss up to a year of football. Others had doubts whether the Super Bowl-winning quarterback would ever return, saying retirement for the 39-year-old was now on the cards. However, few could have expected that Rodgers would undergo an innovative surgery and aim for a return to action this season.
A Four-Month Recovery Process
While on The Pat McAfee Show, Rodgers confirmed he underwent surgery on his torn Achilles on Wednesday. However, instead of being subjected to the standard procedure, doctors placed an Achilles “speed bridge” inside Rodgers’s foot.
The relatively new and innovative procedure was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and his team. It involved placing an internal brace on Rodgers’ torn Achilles that would better protect the repaired tendon and, potentially, facilitate a speedier return. Some say athletes could return to action in only four months, leaving the door open for Rodgers to make an appearance in the NFL playoffs if the Jets make it there.
There are no guarantees, though. Sources said that while the procedure made the repair stronger and protected it against stretching, there were still no indications that it accelerated the recovery process. With Rodgers turning 40 in December, there are big question marks about whether his body will respond to rehab the way he wants it to.
Rodgers Hopes to Shock Some People
Rodgers said he started communicating with the world-renowned orthopedic surgeon who famously repaired Kobe Bryant’s Achilles in 2013 from the locker room immediately after getting injured. He insisted on undergoing the innovative procedure as he felt that just because something wasn’t done before didn’t mean it wasn’t possible.
The four-time NFL MVP said he knew the odds were stacked against him due to his age, but he has no problem defying the odds. He even challenged people to stack all odds against him “and see what happens.”
Rodgers claimed he was now focusing on sticking to his “pretty damn good rehab plan” and adding to it. Then he hoped he would “shock some people” with his earlier-than-predicted return.
The Jets are Rolling with Zach Wilson
Until he returns, though, Zach Wilson will be deputizing for Rodgers. The former number two pick in the draft has reportedly been in constant communication with Rodgers and will start for the Jets on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.
Even though some reports said that New York might go for a veteran quarterback in Rodgers’ absence, sources are now adamant that the Jets will stick with Wilson and won’t sign Tom Brady, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, or Matt Ryan.
Jets head coach Robert Saleh told the press they were “rolling with Zach,” putting to bed all rumors of a shock move for any of those four.