Presumably bored with going through quarterback drills and wanting to test his healing Achilles tendon out, New York Jets superstar Aaron Rodgers decided to try his hand as a scout team linebacker during Friday’s practice. What ensued is almost impossible to believe when you read it.
Aaron Rodgers delivered a wow moment today in practice: a leaping, one handed interception. He was filling in on the scout team defense. The latest on his comeback bid. #Jetshttps://t.co/MsLhQZppq9
ESPN’s Rich Cimini posted a story that expounded upon the Rodgers INT situation. My favorite quote from one eyewitness came via tackle Duane Brown, who said there should’ve/could’ve/would’ve been a bigger reaction to Rodgers’ incredible play if everyone wasn’t so stunned by what they’d just seen:
“Probably not as much as there should’ve been because, in the moment, you’re like, ‘Oh, he jumped up and caught it.’ …But now it’s like, ‘What the f— are you doing?'”
We don’t have any footage of the INT Rodgers made as of now. In my own mind’s eye, I’m going to pretend it was precisely like the filthy pick-six Jack Jones made last night in the Chargers’ embarrassing 63-21 loss that caused Bolts coach Brandon Staley and GM Tom Telesco to be fired.
Only thing is, Rodgers isn’t full-on sprinting just yet from what has been reported. Hard to expect that considering he just tore his Achilles in Week 1. Nevertheless, Rodgers continues to defy all expectations of what he can and can’t do. If Zach Wilson can build off his 300-yard passing performance in last week’s 30-6 blowout of the Texans, perhaps he can keep Gang Green’s playoff hopes alive enough for Rodgers to want to return to the field for a Christmas Eve matchup against the Commanders.
I wouldn’t come back if I were Rodgers regardless. Whatever. I can’t really say I have room to talk, because I wouldn’t be getting vertical and snatching one-handed picks in practice this soon off a shredded Achilles. Wouldn’t even attempt it if I had the physical faculties to pull off such athletic feats.
But yeah, Rodgers is doing the whole throwing the football thing, too:
Whatever happens the rest of this season for New York, it’s looking like a no-doubter that Rodgers will be 100% well in advance of the start of next season. That’s all that really matters. That’s what everything within the Jets organization is building toward. Any positive updates in the aftermath of that devastating injury in the season opener have been welcome, yet Rodgers has gone the extra mile to inspire this team to not give up just because he’s gone down.
As ugly as the Jets’ year has looked a lot of the time, Zach Wilson’s breakout performance is partially a result of Rodgers’ leadership and imparting of football knowledge onto the former No. 2 overall pick. It’ll be fascinating to see if he can build on it this Sunday against the AFC East rival Dolphins, whose decimated o-line will have a hard time against New York’s elite defensive front.
If the Jets had managed to pick up just one more win somewhere along the way, perhaps there’d be a more realistic shot of Rodgers actually playing down the stretch. Again, even if it’s too little, too late, there’s so much reason for optimism in 2024. The absolutely stupid (meant as a high compliment) interception Rodgers somehow pulled off is merely the latest example of how he epitomizes the “built different” label.