Might New York Jets fans be receiving an early gift this holiday season?
Aaron Rodgers told NBC's Melissa Stark during the Sunday Night Football game between the Jets and Las Vegas Raiders that his goal is to return from his Achilles injury by mid-December.
“He said, ‘I know it sounds insane, but you do a good surgery, you have a good patient, it makes this possible,’” Stark said during the broadcast.
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Rodgers suffered a torn Achilles in the Jets' first offensive drive of the season against the Buffalo Bills, an injury that many assumed would be season ending. But Rodgers underwent an inventive surgical procedure in which a "speed bridge" was used in hopes of allowing a recovery in as quick as four months.
The 39-year-old Rodgers was quickly back on his feet, walking without crutches weeks after the surgery. He threw pregame passes on the field over the last few weeks, although he opted not to do so on Sunday, telling Stark he "just wasn't feeling it."
Rodgers also told Stark he has been working on a weight-limiting treadmill, jogging at 50% of his body weight. His goal this week is to increase it to 75%.
Following last week's Jets' loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football, a microphone caught Chargers safety Derwin James asking Rodgers when he'd return.
"Give me a few weeks," Rodgers said.
Now he's publicly put a more specific timeframe on it. Beyond Rodgers' making a speedy recovery, there is one other key factor in his potential return this season: the Jets' remaining in the playoff hunt. They entered Sunday's game against the Raiders at 4-4. With Rodgers eyeing a mid-December return, they'd likely have to remain around .500 with upcoming games against the Bills and Miami Dolphins looming.
The Associated Press contributed to this report