Aaron Rodgers attended a team meeting at the New York Jets’ New Jersey hotel Saturday night and is expected to attend the game against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
The four-time NFL MVP had been healing and rehabilitating at home in Malibu, California, after having surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. Rodgers was injured four snaps into his debut with the Jets on Sept. 11 against Buffalo.
The 39-year-old Rodgers hinted earlier this week during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” he could make his first public appearance since the injury if he was cleared by doctors to travel.
“You never know who you’re going to see at the game,” Rodgers said with a grin.
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It was unclear then if he was referring to himself or pop superstar Taylor Swift, who could also be at the game at MetLife Stadium to support Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce — or perhaps both.
Rodgers apparently received medical clearance to fly and be with his teammates, according to multiple reports Saturday night. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team didn’t announce Rodgers had rejoined his teammates.
Photos published by the New York Post on Friday of Rodgers walking on crutches and his left leg in a compression sleeve after a workout in Los Angeles further fueled speculation the quarterback could attend the game.
“I would love to have him back, but whenever it is safe for him to travel,” coach Robert Saleh said Friday. “I know he wants to get back, but I’m not exactly sure where that is on the timeline.”
It apparently was right on time for him to make it to participate in meetings Saturday and attend the game Sunday night.
His teammates were excited about the idea of Rodgers at some point rejoining them, even if he can’t play.
“That would be awesome to have as good of a football mind as he is around the team for, you know, someone like me to be able to bounce my thoughts off and see what he’s thinking,” wide receiver Garrett Wilson said Friday. “To have him around, the energy, the aura that he comes with, I mean, it’s priceless, man. So as soon as we can get him back, his presence will be felt.
“And, I look forward to that. I hope it is this weekend.”
Two days after the injury, Rodgers had surgery performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles. There were reports Rodgers had a “speed bridge” procedure, which is designed to accelerate the normal rehabilitation process.
The quarterback wouldn’t go into specifics during a recent appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on the procedure or his rehab, saying only: “Some of the things that were reported about the type of surgery I got was factual. Some of the stuff was not entirely factual.”
Rodgers said he wouldn’t put a timeline on a return to play football, but has said he’ll use anyone doubting him as motivation in his rehabilitation. — AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL