Aside from a brief social media update following his surgery this week, Aaron Rodgers has been silent since suffering a season-ending Achilles tear on Monday night. But the New York Jets quarterback broke his silence on Friday by appearing on “The Pat McAfee Show.”
Aaron Rodgers Discusses Injury on Pat McAfee Show
Rodgers didn’t even get to complete his first pass as a Jet before going down against the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football. He’d played only four snaps when he ruptured his Achilles after taking a hit from Bills pass rusher Leonard Floyd.
Rodgers was supposed to make New York an instant contender after Gang Green sent multiple picks to acquire him from the Green Bay Packers in April. Instead, the Jets are turning back to Zach Wilson as their starter.
“Monday was an amazing day to start, amazing night, run on the field with the flag, electric,” Rodgers told McAfee on Friday. “And then it turned into one of the toughest 24-hour stretches I’ve had in my life.
“A lot of sadness. A lot of tears. A lot of dark frustration and anger — all the gamut of emotions. But then the sun rose the next day, and I found myself in L.A. and had surgery on Wednesday. Since then, I’ve been feeling better.”
Via Aaron Rodgers’ Instagram story: pic.twitter.com/QP2zXwD8yp
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 15, 2023
Rodgers said he knew before undergoing an MRI that he’d torn his Achilles.
He’s under contract through 2025, but he’ll be 40 years old and coming off a severe, athleticism-sapping injury when next season begins. As such, there are legitimate questions about whether Rodgers could decide to retire this offseason.
Asked if he’ll continue his career in 2024, Rodgers suggested that he would.
“Give me the doubts,” Rodgers said. “Give me the timetables. Give me all the things that you think can, should, or will happen because all I need is that one little extra percent of inspiration. That’s all I need …
… Give me your prognostications, and then watch what I do.”
Could Rodgers return this season? While Achilles injuries typically come with a 10-12 month recovery timeline, Rodgers said, “As Kevin Garnett said, ‘anything’s possible.’
“I’m gonna try and push this thing as much as it will allow me to. There’s markers I’ve gotta see — where I’m after a week, and two weeks, and a month, and two months. And then we’ll see what the conversation is from there.”
Rodgers Discusses His Rehab Process
Rodgers said he knew the late Kobe Bryant had recovered from an Achilles tear and began researching the former Lakers star’s process as early as Monday night. He also said he has a long relationship with Dr. Neal El-Attrache, who performed Rodgers’ Achilles operation this week and worked on his collarbone in 2017.
“There’s a lot of different ideas about the overall length of the rehab,” Rodgers said. “I think what I’d like to say is, just because someone hasn’t done it a certain way doesn’t mean it’s not possible.
“Definitely some odds stacked against me, based on age. But I like it. Stack all the odds up against me and see what happens. It’s going to be an interesting attacking of the rehab because I’m drawing from all these different sources.
“I literally spent the last couple days on the phone with people all over the country, giving me their time advice. I have calls today with a few other big names you would know who suffered the same injury just to talk to them about their experience.
“So my entire focus and dedication is on acquiring the most information. And then adding to what I’ve already put together as a pretty damn good rehab plan that’s gonna shock some people.”
Rodgers said much of his sadness about his injury was related to a sense of letting people down in the Jets’ organization.
“A big part of it was just how hard I worked,” Rodgers said. “Just because I wanted so badly to dominate in the way that I’m capable of dominating and be able to do things I wanted to do on the field. So there was just a lot of sadness the first 24 hours after the game because of how excited I was about the season.”
Rodgers admitted that he was highly emotional following his injury on Monday night.
“Some people, it kinda hits different. When (Randall Cobb) walked in, I kinda lost it,” Rodgers said. ” … But I’m thankful for the tears. It makes you feel like you’re alive.
“I care about it so much. I care about what we were trying to establish — and did establish — chemistry-wise and culture-wise. I just care about it so much. It just hit me like a ton of bricks for 24 hours. There were just moments of sobbing …
” … I had put so much into it and care about it so much. There was anger. There was a lot of anger. Like, ‘Why? Why is this happening?’ And underneath all that is just the sadness because you miss being out there with the guys. You miss the competition, and the locker room, and the field, and everything that makes our sport so beautiful.”