EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw several short passes during the team’s warmup period before their 20-14 victory against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, nearly five weeks after tearing his left Achilles tendon.
Wearing a white long-sleeved T-shirt, black sweatpants and a multicolored Jets cap, the 39-year-old Rodgers walked around without the aid of crutches or a walking boot and had a catch with cornerback Sauce Gardner — who was out for the game with a concussion.
“It’s unbelievable,” coach Robert Saleh said. “A lot of people that I have talked to — I won’t name names but who have also had it — that everyone is in awe that he is even walking. For him to be on the sideline standing the entire time, he’s a freakazoid.”
The four-time NFL MVP, who’s on the injured reserve list, stepped into a few of his throws and put some weight on his left leg while tossing the 15-yard passes. He also chatted with several teammates and coaches on the field while the Jets warmed up.
Rodgers rejoined his teammates for the second time since being injured four snaps into his debut with the Jets on Sept. 11. He also attended New York’s loss to Kansas City two weeks ago before returning home, but he was on crutches on the sideline before that game and watched from a suite with Jets owner Woody Johnson.
On Sunday, Rodgers watched the game from a seat on the sideline bench while wearing a headset and listening in on the offensive play calls.
“That’s him,” Saleh said. “He said he wanted to be on the sideline.”
Rodgers has been rehabilitating in the Los Angeles area after having surgery two days after the injury. He reportedly had a “speed bridge” procedure that’s designed to accelerate the rehab process. Rodgers has said his goal is to return late this season — as long as the 2-3 Jets remain in the playoff hunt.
The Jets posted video of Rodgers riding in a golf cart, which stopped in front of the team’s locker room entrance. Rodgers got off without any trouble and walked inside without crutches.
Achilles tendon injuries normally take players several months to recover because of the extensive rehab needed to fully heal.
Zach Wilson made his fifth straight start in place of the injured Rodgers and went 19 of 33 for 186 yards with no touchdowns, but also no turnovers.
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