Jets QB Aaron Rodgers says returning in a ‘few weeks’ is not a ‘realistic timeline’

NEW YORK — Aaron Rodgers continues to tease his possible return to the field.

Following the Jets’ 27-6 blowout loss to the Chargers on Monday Night Football, L.A. safety Derwin James Jr. asked Rodgers when he was coming back.

“A few weeks,” Rodgers told James in a video clip that has gone viral.

However, during his weekly appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show,” on ESPN Rodgers downplayed his comments to James.

“I didn’t realize it was going to get caught there,” Rodgers said. “Obviously, that was said with a little tongue and cheek. It would be nice to get back in a couple of weeks, but that’s probably not anywhere of a realistic timeline.

“It could be a few, it could be a lot. It’s more of a phrase as I don’t have a specific timetable. I said it smiling and joking as he’s excited for me to get back on the field at some point.

“Obviously, it’s going to be more than a couple of weeks.”

Four plays into the season opener against the Bills on Sept. 11, Rodgers tore his Achilles. That was eight weeks ago. Two days later, Rodgers had surgery, which was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who is an orthopedic surgeon based in Los Angeles who has worked with high-profile athletes throughout his career.

Many thought Rodgers’ season was over after his injury, but the former four-time MVP has been rehabbing extensively, trying to make an unprecedented comeback before the end of the 2023 season.

He has said numerous times that he’s ahead of the standard rehab process and has left the possibility of returning.

“I’m feeling good in my rehab,” Rodgers said. “I’ve been grinding. Was able to get into Jersey on Monday morning and see the guys before the game and throw a couple of balls around with my buddy. I feel good, felt kind of normal.

“When I’m 70, I think I will still be able to throw the ball pretty good. It’s how quickly can I get this rehab where I need it to be and we have to play some better football on offense. I’m excited where I’m at, good to see the guys, good to see the crowd.

“Obviously, a disappointing game, but we got another one on Sunday in Vegas and a chance to bounce back.”

During pregame warmups in recent weeks, including Monday night, Rodgers was seen throwing the football 55-yards down the field.

For any return to happen, the Jets would likely need to be in position to make the playoffs. Currently, the Jets are 4-4 and sit 11th in the AFC playoff race for nine games to go.

The Jets really miss Rodgers as their offense is currently ranked 31st in total offense (272.9) and 30th in points per game (16.5).

“I have a lot of faith in our guys,” Rodgers said. “I feel like we are going to be in the mix for sure. That’s a very small part of the process because it is about the day-to-day trying to strengthening the calf.

“It’s going be a process of small gains every single day. Hopefully, there’s a chance to have that conversation, but obviously, we gotta be in the mix. But more than that, I have to be able to be healthy to protect myself and have strength in all of the throwing positions.

“We are a long way from being able to be under center. It’s going to be a process.”