1 of 5 | New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who tore his Achilles in September, says he could return "in a few weeks." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Nov. 7 (UPI) -- Injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers dropped back and threw deep passes in warmups before the New York Jets' Week 9 loss. He later told Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. that he could return in "a few weeks."
Rodgers was spotted near the 50-yard line during pregame warmups Monday in East Rutherford, N.J. He caught the ball from a Jets staff member several times before he stepped back and launched the ball more than 55 yards into the end zone.
Rodgers, who underwent surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon on Sept. 13, also threw passes in warmups before several other Jets games, including an Oct. 15 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, about a month after his surgery. Those tosses were much shorter than his heaves Monday night at MetLife Stadium.
Days after his surgery, Rodgers said on the Pat McAfee Show that "anything is possible," when asked if he can return this season. Quotes from Rodgers, coach Robert Saleh and others in recent weeks have been more optimistic.
Saleh, who told reporters in September that Rodgers was "out for the year," told NFL Network last month that Rodgers was "fueled by doubt" and that the team is "leaving the door open" for a potential return.
General manager Joe Douglass confirmed that sentiment, telling reporters Oct. 31 that the Jets "expect Aaron Rodgers back with the team." He also clarified that he "had no timeline" on the return and didn't know if Rodgers' return would be in a playing capacity.
Rodgers, who told NBC last weekend that his goal is to return this season, appeared to specify a timeline after Monday's loss. That revelation came after James asked "when you coming back, man?" when the players met for a postgame handshake.
"Give me a few weeks," Rodgers said during the exchange, which was filmed by ESPN.
Rodgers went 0 for 1 in his Jets debut, a 22-16 Week 1 win over the Buffalo Bills. Zach Wilson completed 59.9% of his throws for 1,600 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games in relief of Rodgers.
The Jets (4-4) will face the Las Vegas Raiders at 8:15 p.m. EST Sunday in Las Vegas. They will travel again in Week 11 for a rematch with the Bills. The Jets will host the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans from Week 12 through Week 14.
They will play the Dolphins again in Week 15 on Dec. 17 in Miami Gardens, Fla. the Jets' final home game will be Dec. 24 against the Washington Commanders. Their final two games will be on the road against the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots.