Aaron Rodgers won’t confirm Christmas Eve return, participating in 7-on-7 drills at practice

Excitement for the New York Jets’ remaining four games of the 2023 season hinges greatly on the injury status of Aaron Rodgers. 

At 5-8, Gang Green is not out of playoff contention just yet, and their 30-6 victory last Sunday against the Houston Texans opened the door to the potential return of their Hall-of-Fame quarterback. A previous report by TMZ announced that Rodgers would return to the playing field for New York’s Christmas Eve contest against the Washington Commanders.

On the Pat McAfee show Tuesday afternoon, Rodgers did not confirm the report but certainly didn’t deny it either. 

“I’m not sure where that report is coming from,” Rodgers stated. “There’s been a lot of interesting reporting on our team over the last couple of weeks. There’s a lot of loose lips, but I won’t let it sink my ship. I’m getting better, and improving. (There’s) Still some things I have to do to get cleared.”

Aaron Rodgers as Jets quarterback
FILE – New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up before playing against the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game, Sept. 11, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. Rodgers spoke to local reporters Thursday, Nov. 30, and said he’s not yet close to being able to play after tearing his left Achilles tendon four snaps into his debut with the Jets on Sept. 11. But he also left open the door for him to be back under center before his initial goal of Dec. 24, saying he plans to ramp up his practice activities next week. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger, File)

Rodgers did explain that he has participated in seven-on-seven drills during Jets practice over the last few weeks with third-stringers and practice squad players. 

“It’s a lot of threes and p-squad guys. It’s called flight school – kind of p-squad guys getting extra work in and I just asked to take some reps there.”

Until the four-time NFL MVP returns to the game field on Sundays, the Jets will have former second-overall pick Zach Wilson to start at quarterback. Last week against the Texans, Wilson had his best career game as a pro completing over 70% of his passes and two touchdown passes. 

The decisiveness and improvement from his friend was probably the best thing out of last week though for Rodgers.

“I just think guys get into a rhythm and get in that zone. We passed the ball 10 straight times, which was directly relative to how he was in a rhythm. Just little things, simple plays, as we know every week, the QB has to make those special plays, and he made a couple of big-time plays.”

Wilson’s performance has, at the very least quelled some concerns surrounding the effectiveness of New York’s offense from play-caller to signal-caller. The drastic change in effectiveness surprised even Gang Green’s franchise quarterback on Sunday. 

“It’s pretty crazy. We hadn’t scored 30 points in the last four games and we scored 30 in one half…under the circumstances, I am very happy for Zach. He played excellent.”

With four games remaining, the Jets are not out of playoff contention just yet. They could theoretically win out, get some outside help, and find themselves in the postseason for the first time in 13 years. To do that though, consistently from the offensive side of the ball will be key. 

Having a Hall-of-Fame caliber quarterback returning to the field as well might help. The team may be as tight-lipped as Rodgers has been about a potential return to the field, but the more the organization wins over the next month, the easier a decision could be for the quarterback to return. 

For more Aaron Rodgers and New York Jets news, turn to AMNY.com

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