NEW YORK — Aaron Rodgers is attempting to go where no man has gone before.
That’s play in a game three months after his Achilles surgery.
But why is the soon-to-be 40-year-old Rodgers taking this risk?
“It’s never been a why try, it’s been why not,” Rodgers told reporters on Thursday. “From September 12 on, my goal was to come back to the practice field and to try and play. Obviously, it was contingent on my health and the team to be in a position to make a run. That’s why I worked so hard during those 77 days was to get back on the field.
“I love to compete, so for me, it is wanting so badly to be out there. Also, to inspire people to attack the rehab a little bit differently. Obviously, I don’t think there are many people who can do what I did because of the resources that I had available to me. It was my job from sun up to sun down, was driving to rehab in the morning, four hours-plus there and then going home and doing more rehab at the house.
“A lot of people just get surgery and they just like the year is over. But I’m old, I don’t think I have the luxury of thinking about next year and I want to come back this year and play.”
Four plays into his debut with the Jets, Rodgers tore his Achilles, and many expected he would miss the remainder of the season just like most who suffered the injury. The surgery was done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, an orthopedic surgeon in Los Angeles who has worked with various athletes, including Kobe Bryant, who tore his Achilles at age 34 in 2013.
However, the four-time MVP has been rehabbing relentlessly since his Sept. 13 surgery, trying to play in another game this year.
Rodgers’ goal is to compete against conventional rehab. He set specific benchmark goals during his rehab, hoping to achieve his goal of returning before the end of the season. When he told people his goal, Rodgers said many people tried to persuade him not to rush back to the field this season.
“My thing is, what’s the worst that can happen,” Rodgers said. “Something unfortunate again and you just slow the rehab down.
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