Aaron Rodgers will not make his return from injury this season after the New York Jets dropped out of playoff contention, but the quarterback does not foresee 2024 being his final year in the NFL.
Rodgers joined the Jets on a two-year contract after spending the first 17 years of his career with the Green Bay Packers, but he suffered an Achilles tear on the Jets’ fourth offensive play of the campaign in their Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills.
The four-time MVP was tipped for a December return if the Jets remained in the mix to reach the playoffs, but they were officially eliminated from contention following Sunday’s 30-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
With the Jets’ campaign now certain to end after meetings with the Washington Commanders, Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots, Rodgers will bide his time and ensure he starts next season in peak condition.
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During an interview on The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday, Rodgers said: “The whole time it’s been about hoping that we’re still in it, because it’s unrealistic to think I’d be 100 per cent at any point in the regular season.
“I feel good about where I’m at now. At least there would have been a conversation about it [returning].
“Now without a timetable to come back, obviously we can be as smart as we need to be.”
Rodgers turned 40 earlier this month and only has one season remaining on his contract in New York, but he is confident about his prospects of playing on for several years.
“I don’t think next year will be my last year.” – @AaronRodgers12
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 19, 2023
Indeed, despite the Jets limping to a 5-9 record in his absence this season, Rodgers has high hopes for 2024, saying: “I felt like when I came here that I got a renewed passion and love for the game.
“Everything has been amazing here. I wanted at least two years. I feel like this year was a bit of a lost year now that I only played a couple of snaps.
“I don’t think that next year will be my last year. With some of the things that I’ve learned about taking care of my body, I feel like I can play more years and be effective into my forties.
“The leadership we have in our guys, it’s not a situation where we have to rebuild. We have to reload a little bit and there will be some tough decisions to make, for sure.
“But I like the pieces we have in place. We have some great young players stepping into leadership roles. There’s a lot of pieces in place.”
“Still got three games left to finish strong.” pic.twitter.com/NfeVueXTKG
— New York Jets (@nyjets) December 17, 2023