Jul 22, 2023; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) throws the ball during the New York Jets Training Camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Jets QB Aaron Rodgers: ‘No restrictions’ at OTAs

Four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers will be ready when the New York Jets begin their offseason training activities on May 20.

Coach Robert Saleh said Friday that the 40-year-old quarterback will have “no restrictions” eight months after Achilles surgery.

After a celebrated tenure with Green Bay, Rodgers’ 2023 Jets debut ended after just four snaps with a torn left Achilles.

Saleh confirmed that Rodgers is on track to participate in “phase three” of OTAs, a four-week period when teams can hold 10 practices with non-contact, 11-on-11 work.

“Once phase three hits, we’re not anticipating any restrictions from what we can and can’t do with him,” Saleh told reporters Friday at the start of a two-day rookie minicamp.

Rodgers participated in practices on a limited basis during the final month of last season.

“The guy can still sling it,” Saleh said, per ESPN. “Obviously, he’s still working through his rehab, but there are no issues on the trajectory on which he’s going.”

Rodgers passed for 59,055 yards, 475 touchdowns and 105 interceptions in 230 games (223 starts) for the Packers from 2005-22, compiling a record of 147-75-1. He made 10 Pro Bowls and led Green Bay to a Super Bowl XLV victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Jets’ quarterback room also includes veteran Tyrod Taylor and rookie Jordan Travis, drafted in the fifth round last month out of Florida State.

–Field Level Media

Jan 7, 2024; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8)  walks off of the field before a game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Jets QB Aaron Rodgers fired up for 2024, beyond

His old team is going to the playoffs, and Aaron Rodgers insists he plans to use the next nine months to prepare for the next game that counts with the New York Jets.

Head coach Robert Saleh praised Rodgers, who was recognized as the most inspirational teammate, for his energy and focus as the franchise heads into the offseason.

“Stick with us. We want to be the team holding that trophy,” Rodgers said Monday. “I look forward to building the excitement again — and hopefully we’ll have more fortune next year. We are close. We have a core group of really solid guys. We need some pieces.”

Saleh said Rodgers, recovering from a torn Achilles in September, spent December “carving up the scout team” and could have played in a meaningful game this month if the Jets were in a better position.

Rodgers declined to discuss his comments about late-night host Jimmy Kimmel last week, instead inviting viewers to tune in to his weekly paid interview with ESPN’s Pat McAfee on Tuesday.

“I’m going to talk about it tomorrow on the show,” he said.

The Jets went 7-10 in 2023 for the second consecutive season. Their last playoff appearance was at the end of the 2010 season, when the Jets lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Rodgers turned 40 in December and spent much of the season, which he said Monday felt like “a lost year,” as a sounding board for backup Zach Wilson. But Rodgers doesn’t necessarily believe a return for Wilson next season is in his best interest.

“Sometimes a change of scenery can be a breath of fresh air,” he said.

Rodgers said he’s willing to lend a hand recruiting free agents again if general manager Joe Douglas wants an assist. From his perspective, the Jets need work on the offensive line and Saleh said another playmaker at wide receiver is “very important” to take defensive focus away from Garrett Wilson.

But Rodgers doesn’t doubt the “scheme” or offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and described New York as being “close” as contenders in 2024.

“I’d like this to be more than just next year,” he said.

–Field Level Media

Dec 17, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) drops back to attempt a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Jets QB Zach Wilson (concussion) won’t play Thursday

Zach Wilson will not clear concussion protocol in time for Thursday’s game at the Cleveland Browns, New York Jets coach Robert Saleh said Tuesday.

Trevor Siemian will remain the Jets’ starting quarterback for a second straight game with Wilson and Aaron Rodgers (Achilles rehab) both out.

Wilson was hurt during a 30-0 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 17 shortly after returning to the starting job.

Behind Siemian on Sunday, the Jets (6-9) took a 27-7 halftime lead over the Washington Commanders, blew that lead and made a late field goal to secure a 30-28 win. Siemian was 27-for-49 passing for 217 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Siemian, 31, has appeared in 38 career games and is 14-17 as a starter for the Denver Broncos, New Orleans Saints, Chicago Bears and Jets. He has thrown for 7,420 yards, 43 touchdown passes and 31 interceptions in his career.

The Jets are about to go up against one of their old quarterbacks, Joe Flacco, who joined the Browns (10-5) midseason due to multiple injuries at the position and has them on the brink of a playoff berth.

Saleh also ruled out tight end Jeremy Ruckert (concussion) for Thursday and said the team is monitoring kicker Greg Zuerlein due to right quad soreness.

The Jets have been eliminated from playoff contention and close their season on the road against the New England Patriots on Jan. 7.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (15) reacts after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Flacco, Browns push for playoff clincher vs. Jets

All the New York Jets wanted in 2023 was one healthy and productive quarterback. Looking back, the Jets might wish they would have answered when Joe Flacco knocked in September.

Flacco instead played catch with his brother one hour away from the Jets’ facility and waited three more months for the Cleveland Browns to call.

And did he ever answer.

Flacco has the Browns (10-5) on the doorstep of an improbable playoff bid and gets a visit from his old team, the Jets (6-9), on Thursday night with a chance to hand-deliver a reminder of what might have been for the beleaguered New York franchise.

Beat the Jets, and the Browns can clinch a spot in the playoffs.

“We talked about it a little bit this past week. Every week you look at the game and you’re like, ‘man, it’s a big win. Another big one,’” Flacco said.

The fourth quarterback to start for the Browns this season, Flacco took over in Week 13. Since then, he leads the NFL with 1,321 yards and 10 touchdowns. The Jets have 10 total TD passes in 2023.

When New York and 30 other teams passed, Flacco said he fell right into the ideal spot with the Browns.

“You think you are coming into a good situation,” Flacco said of signing with the Browns. “There’s a possibility for this. I think you assume from the outside this is a pretty good situation. When you get here it’s an even better situation than you’ve imagined.”

The Jets expected to be in this position but with another heavily seasoned quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, at the controls. Without Rodgers, a championship-caliber defense wasn’t enough to consistently generate wins using Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian at quarterback.

Jets head coach Robert Saleh, who interviewed to be Cleveland’s head coach in 2020 and coached Flacco in New York, isn’t surprised by Flacco steering the Browns into the playoff picture.

“I’ve said it before, he’s like a Ford pickup truck. You might not like it in the summer but in the winter months that son of a gun starts humming,” Saleh said.

Wilson will not play Thursday, according to Saleh, because of a concussion. Siemian is expected to get his second consecutive start after throwing for 217 yards and a touchdown during Sunday’s 30-28 victory over the Washington Commanders.

Running back Breece Hall is proving to be a lifeline for the Jets’ offense with 39 receptions in the past six games. Hall had 191 yards from scrimmage (95 rushing, 96 receiving) against the Commanders.

Hall didn’t play in the Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game in August, recovering from a 2022 knee injury that ended his season, and the Browns have lost multiple quarterbacks to season-ending injuries. Deshaun Watson (shoulder) and rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson (hip) are on injured reserve along with running back Nick Chubb (knee) and both of the Browns’ starting offensive tackles.

Enter first-year coordinator Jim Schwartz Cleveland’s top-ranked defense. The group allowed less than 300 yards in five of its past six games. The Browns are first against the pass (160.1 yards per game), total defense (260.3 yards per game), yards per play (4.46 yards) and interception rate (3.46 percent).

Erratic offensive line play hasn’t helped the Jets compete.

Now they must deal with defensive end Myles Garrett, who has 13 of the Browns’ 44 sacks in 2023, and a “high energy” crowd in Cleveland.

“I think the fans are going to bring the energy, I think we’re going to bring the energy,” Browns guard Joel Bitonio said.

–Field Level Media

East Rutherford, NJ     December 3, 2023 -- Zach Wilson of the Jets on the sidelines, late in the second half. The Atlanta Falcons topped the NY Jets 13-8 at MetLife Stadium on December 3, 2023 in East Rutherford, NJ.

Jets’ Saleh ‘undecided’ at QB, insists Zach Wilson ‘wants the ball’

Aaron Rodgers is not the starter for the New York Jets this week. That much is certain.

But who gets the call at quarterback when the Houston Texans hit MetLife Stadium on Sunday is “undecided.”

Head coach Robert Saleh said Monday that quarterback Zach Wilson came to him earlier in the day to tell him he “wants the ball” after Tim Boyle and the Jets’ offense produced few positives in a 13-8 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. Reports on Monday surfaced claiming Wilson was “reluctant” to retake the starting job after being benched.

“If he was reluctant to play, he wouldn’t be here,” Saleh said of Wilson. “The young man wants the ball.”

New York has lost five consecutive games, scoring less than 14 points in each defeat.

The Jets (4-8) aren’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs but are closing in on that reality in a season derailed by Rodgers’ torn Achilles on his opening drive with the team in September.

Rodgers will “ramp up” practice this week, Saleh said, but cautioned “Don’t hold your breath” when asked if the 40-year-old could be active this week.

Trevor Siemian came off the bench to replace Boyle but was 5-of-13 passing and sacked three times by the Falcons.

–Field Level Media

Nov 24, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) on the sidelines during the first half against the Miami Dolphins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Rodgers on early return to sinking Jets: ‘Anything is possible’

Dec. 24 was already an incredibly optimistic date for Aaron Rodgers to return from a torn Achilles. But the New York Jets quarterback wouldn’t rule out an even earlier comeback.

“Anything is possible,” Rodgers told Jets beat reporters in his first comments at the team facility since his injury Sept. 11.

Rodgers returned to practice on Wednesday, 11 weeks to the day after surgery to repair his Achilles. Rodgers has continuously said he wants to return this season provided he’s healthy and the team is “alive” in the AFC playoff race.

Christmas Eve is the Jets’ third-to-last regular-season game, at home against the Washington Commanders, so that might not be enough time for Rodgers to singlehandedly resurrect the Jets’ season. New York is 4-7 and mired in a four-game losing streak.

Rodgers — who turns 40 on Saturday — won’t be back for Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons, but the clock is ticking, especially after the Jets activated his 21-day return-from-IR window.

“It feels great to be on the practice field, but I’m not anywhere near ready to play,” Rodgers said.

Specifically, Rodgers is throwing and working on dropbacks, but at this point in his recovery he is not ready to run at game speed.

“I don’t think I can protect myself as well as I want to at this point,” he said.

Rodgers acknowledged the risk in coming back early — Achilles tears usually sideline NFL players 9-12 months — and the fact that the Jets are a playoff race outsider doesn’t help matters.

“I don’t think that would make a ton of sense,” Rodgers said of coming back to an eliminated team. “I don’t know what the team is going to feel about that … it would be a risk for myself, for the team to sign off on. If we’re out of it, I would be surprised if they would OK that, to come back.”

There’s always next year, as Jets fans have been telling themselves since the late 1960s, but Rodgers’ future with the team is no sure thing.

A day after Jets coach Robert Saleh said the team was under the impression that Rodgers would play for them in 2024, Rodgers was asked if his return next season was tied to Saleh, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and general manager Joe Douglas returning to New York.

Rodgers called it a “trap question.”

“I want to play and I feel like the Johnsons (team ownership) want me to be here,” Rodgers said. “I feel like it’s a really good organizational structure, I feel like Joe has drafted really well, I feel like Robert is a fantastic coach, so is Nathaniel. Those decisions are out of my hands.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 12, 2023; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson (2) looks to make a pass against the Las Vegas Raiders in the second quarter at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Jets resist QB change, sticking with Zach Wilson

Zach Wilson remains the starting quarterback for the New York Jets, who dropped to 4-5 with Sunday’s loss at the Las Vegas Raiders and haven’t scored a touchdown in their last 11 quarters.

Wilson has one touchdown pass in the past five games. The Jets’ last touchdown was in the first quarter of their Oct. 29 win over the New York Giants. They’ve gone 36 possessions without a touchdown.

“He’s actually playing pretty well,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Monday.

While Aaron Rodgers continues to rehab his torn Achilles, Tim Boyle is the only other quarterback on the Jets’ active roster besides Wilson.

Saleh said there are schematic changes under consideration but no other changes to the offense.

“Nothing with the quarterback, nothing with the play-caller. We’re looking at some personnel changes that I’m going to keep here with me,” Saleh said.

The Jets have 144 points, second-worst in the AFC behind the New England Patriots (141). New York is 30th in the NFL in scoring.

Saleh said he knows there are more questions coming unless the Jets return to the win column.

“I get it, there’s a yearning for more, but I feel like he played a good game yesterday,” Saleh said. “It is hard to make changes just to pacify something, especially when someone is not deserving.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 15, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets injured quarterback Aaron Rodgers (left) and head coach Robert Saleh on the sidelines during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jets ‘leaving door open’ for Aaron Rodgers to play this season

Medical opinion and age are two major opponents Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers needs to beat as he recovers from a torn Achilles tendon, but New York head coach Robert Saleh dares you to doubt his 39-year-old starter can be back on the field this season.

Saleh said Tuesday the Jets are leaving the door open for Rodgers to make a comeback from his Sept. 11 injury some time this season. Rodgers was placed on injured reserve and the anticipated recovery time for a typical Achilles tear is 11 to 12 months.

“Everything says he shouldn’t be able to do this,” Saleh said in an interview with NFL Network. “Any medical professional, anyone who’s been through an Achilles injury, they’re all saying there’s no way. But don’t tell him that. Like I said, the more you doubt him and the more you doubt whether or not he’s able to do it, I think it just fuels him. I mean, if I was going to bet — even though gambling is illegal for employees — I would bet on him, not against him.”

Rodgers is walking without crutches and credits the unique “speed bridge” operation he had for his relatively rapid progress. Saleh said he can see and hear the belief from Rodgers that he’ll be back, to the extent that he’s a believer too.

“I’m one of those guys searching, like, ‘Is he supposed to do this?’ ” Saleh said. “I’ve coached Richard Sherman, who was coming off his Achilles. I’ve got friends who have had Achilles injuries, and what he’s doing, according to them, is absolutely ridiculous. For him to be walking already, I wouldn’t put anything past him. He is a big believer in manifestation. You are who you think you are, and you become what you think about. He is willing himself to return faster than what you’re supposed to be.

“I think he’s fueled by doubt — I don’t think, I know — he’s fueled by doubt. The more you doubt him, the more fuel he has. He’s on a mission. There’s one thing I’ve learned about him, in my very short time with him, is that when he’s got something on his mind and he wants to prove something, he’s going to prove it. So, a lot of people can doubt him, but I’m not doubting him. We’re leaving the door open for him but it’s amazing to see how hard he’s been working and the intent at which he’s been doing it.”

Rodgers said he was informed he would need three months post-surgery for the Achilles to potentially be considered fully healed, which would put him at a Week 15 return just after his 40th birthday (Dec. 2) to face the Miami Dolphins on Dec. 17.

The Jets (3-3) would have three games remaining after the date in Miami if Rodgers is able to hit that timeline, but it’s less likely he would risk an early return from a major injury and surgery if the team falls out of the playoff picture by December.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2023; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Jets place kicker Greg Zuerlein (9) kicks a field goal in the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Jets K Greg Zuerlein ’50-50′ with groin injury

Add kicker workouts to the New York Jets’ to-do list Friday.

Head coach Robert Saleh said a few veteran kickers would work out for the team with Greg Zuerlein’s status up in the air for Week 2 because of a groin injury.

“It’s not a serious injury, but serious enough to bring this game in question,” Saleh said Friday of Zuerlein potentially needing a week to recover.

The Jets (1-0) play at Dallas (1-0) on Sunday afternoon.

Saleh said Zuerlein will not practice Friday and the chances he plays are “50-50.” He made all three of his field-goal attempts in the Week 1 win against Buffalo.

Zuerlein, 35, is in his 12th NFL season. He re-signed with the Jets in March after serving as the team’s kicker in 2022. He played for the Cowboys in 2020 and 2021.

Among available options are Robbie Gould, the former 49ers kicker who was with San Francisco when Saleh was the defensive coordinator.

–Field Level Media

May 23, 2023; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers (8) and quarterback Zach Wilson (2) warm up during OTA s at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Jets cancel next week’s minicamp

The New York Jets canceled their mandatory minicamp scheduled for next week, citing their earlier-than-usual report time for training camp.

The Jets will meet the Cleveland Browns in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug. 3. With that in mind, New York will have an early start to training camp so they will wrap up their offseason program with this week’s organized team activities.

The Jets’ minicamp had been scheduled for June 13-15.

“With the Hall of Fame Game, we’re reporting a week earlier than everybody else,” Jets coach Robert Saleh said Tuesday. “Guys need to get away. They’ve put in a really good offseason. … You need a week off and you gotta rev back up to get ready for the season.”

–Field Level Media