New York Jets v Las Vegas Raiders
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Aaron Rodgers has hinted all season that he'll make a historically quick recovery from a Week 1 Achilles tear, and the Jets quarterback went a step further on Sunday, telling NBC he's targeting a mid-December return.

For his part, Jets coach Robert Saleh made it clear that if Rodgers feels he's ready, he will be in the lineup. 

"Aaron's a big boy, a grown man, and no one's going to know Aaron's body like Aaron knows his body," Saleh said Wednesday, per ESPN. "And if he feels after all the doctors clear him -- I'm sure there's a million of them, I have no idea -- but if Aaron says he wants to play, he's going to play."

CBS Sports HQ injury expert Marty Jaramillo, who estimated earlier this season that Rodgers is, in fact, on track for a historic recovery, told CBS Sports HQ on Sunday night that he see no reason why the four-time MVP can't return by mid-December.

His expedited steps to walking and throwing without crutches, along with the relatively new "speed bridge" procedure performed during his surgery, suggested Rodgers could be back under center as early as Dec. 17, when the Jets visit the Dolphins in Week 15. But Rodgers has played both sides while addressing his rehab on "The Pat McAfee Show," repeatedly insisting he is ahead of schedule while downplaying the certainty of his availability in the coming weeks.

NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk also reports that Rodgers' rehab, as it stands right now, will likely keep him sidelined until early in the 2024 offseason.

"A source positioned to make informed estimates on the situation," Mike Florio wrote, "believes the most likely return for Rodgers, at this point, will be the start of OTAs in 2024." For reference, most teams don't begin their offseason programs until April 15, 2024, almost five months from now. Were Rodgers to return then, he'd be more in line with traditional Achilles rehab programs, which require nine to 12 months of recovery; he underwent surgery in September, and April would mark seven months later.

As Florio notes, however, Rodgers' return could also be affected by the Jets' record. The QB himself recently admitted New York has "gotta be in the mix" for a playoff run in order to justify his unprecedented return. And the Jets entered Sunday night's Week 10 matchup with the Raiders at 4-4, with critical divisional games against the Bills and Dolphins up next.

Acquired via trade with the Packers this offseason, Rodgers logged just four snaps in his anticipated Jets debut before going down. If he were to return during the regular season, he would become the fastest NFL player to ever recover from an Achilles tear, after Rams running back Cam Akers returned five months following surgery in 2021.