FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers misses being around his New York Jets teammates and feels a bit isolated at times as he recovers from surgery on his torn left Achilles tendon.
“It’s like the reverse darkness retreat,” the star quarterback said with a laugh during an appearance Friday on “The Pat McAfee Show.” “Nothing around except for light all the time.”
Rodgers was injured on his fourth snap in his debut with the Jets on Sept. 11 against the Buffalo Bills. He had surgery two days later and has been going through the rehabilitation process since.
During his appearance on the show last week, the 39-year-old Rodgers spoke of using the doubters and people’s theoretical timelines to recover as motivation. While there had been some talk as to whether Rodgers might even consider retiring, the four-time NFL MVP indicated last week he wanted to continue his playing career — perhaps maybe even as soon as later this season.
He reiterated his desire to play again with some more clarity Friday.
“I don’t want to get caught in the timeline,” Rodgers said. “I just want to get healthy, honestly, mentally and physically, honestly. But I’m going to do everything I can rehab-wise, to put myself in a position to be ready to play football again at some point. That’s the goal. I mean, obviously when this happened, there’s a lot of thoughts about, like, is that it? Cash it in, you’re done?
“I just don’t feel like I am. So I’m going to put myself in a position to be able to play again and then see when that is.”
Rodgers said he has visualized being able to someday run out of the tunnel at the stadium and back onto the football field “to do exactly what I love.”
Rodgers spent the last two weekends watching NFL games, including Green Bay — his team for 18 years — beating the Bears 38-20 in Chicago in Week 1 — the day before he was injured.
Rodgers, who has called Soldier Field his “second home” and told Bears fans he still “owns” them, sent Packers quarterback Jordan Love a text after that game.
“Congrats for keeping the ownership in place,” Rodgers said he told Love.
Rodgers also watched New York’s 30-10 loss to Dallas last Sunday.
“It’s been tough,” Rodgers said during the video call in the middle of a rehab session. “Every single day, it’s tough not to be with the guys, even when they check in or I hear from coaches or whatever. It’s great, but it’s also disappointing not to be out there. I’ve been grinding on the rehab and just looking forward to getting back out to Jersey at some point.”
Earlier Friday, Jets coach Robert Saleh said the team was hoping Rodgers might be able to be back at the facility sometime next week if he’s able to do so.
“Yeah, I’d like to be able to walk,” Rodgers said. “So whenever I can walk, I’ll probably be back in Jersey. I miss the guys.”
Rodgers said he has watched “Kobe Bryant’s Muse,” the 2015 documentary about the late Basketball Hall of Famer’s career — including his return from his own torn Achilles tendon. Rodgers used the same doctor who performed the surgery on Bryant, Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
There have also been reports Rodgers had a “speed bridge” procedure, which is designed to accelerate the normal rehabilitation process. The quarterback wouldn’t go into specifics 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, who’s recovering at his home in Malibu, California, said he has his personal chef cooking healthy meals for him and has friends helping him around the house.
“I’m well taken care of,” Rodgers said. “I usually like to be the one kind of taking care of people. This is the time for me to kind of sit and receive and try to find some joy in the process. It’s tough, though. It’s not easy.
“There’s been some progressions with the rehab the last couple days that kind of gets the hope meter trending upward a little bit, the joy meter trending up a little bit.”
NOTES: S Tony Adams (hamstring) and G Wes Schweitzer (concussion) were ruled out for the game against New England. LT Duane Brown (hip/shoulder), DL John Franklin-Myers (hip) and K Greg Zuerlein (groin) were listed as questionable. Brown didn’t practice, while both Franklin-Myers and Zuerlein were full participants.
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