Aaron Rodgers said he'd return from Achilles tear in 'a few weeks.' He was kidding

New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers walks on the field before an NFL football game
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers walks on the field before Monday night's game against the Chargers on in East Rutherford, N.J. (Seth Wenig / Associated Press)

Sorry, New York Jets fans — Aaron Rodgers is not going to be back in "a few weeks."

That's despite what the ESPN microphones caught the injured Jets quarterback telling Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. after Monday night's game between the two teams.

During his weekly appearance on "The Pat McAfee Show" the next morning, Rodgers said that he was just having some fun with his longtime friend when he made the comment that quickly went viral and sparked hope in a fanbase that had just witnessed a miserable offensive performance during the Jets' 27-6 home loss to the Chargers.

“I mean, obviously, that was said with a little tongue in cheek there. It’d be nice to be back in a couple weeks but that’s probably not anywhere near a realistic timeline," Rodgers said Tuesday. "It could be a few, it could be a lot. It’s more of a phrase that didn’t have a specific timetable. I said it smiling, joking … obviously it’s gonna be more than a couple weeks.”

Rodgers had some pep in his step as he strolled into MetLife Stadium on Monday night with no crutches and no limp. Later, he was on the field throwing some long balls during warmups, showing no signs of discomfort while dropping back or planting his foot.

Rodgers told McAfee not to read too much into that either.

“It felt good, you know. Felt kind of normal to be out there," Rodgers said. "Listen, when I’m 70 I think I’ll still be able to throw the ball pretty good, so that’s never gonna be a problem. It’s just how quickly can I get this rehab where I need it to be."

Read more: Aaron Rodgers suffered season-ending injury on turf. Now NFLPA is calling for grass fields

The Jets had Super Bowl aspirations after acquiring Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers during the offseason, only to have those dreams apparently crushed when the four-time league MVP tore his left Achilles tendon just four snaps into his season.

Normally an Achilles tear would sideline a player for nine months to a year, but Rodgers has hailed the surgery he underwent as new and innovative. The surgeon who performed it, Dr. Neal ElAttrache, is the same one who helped then-Rams running back Cam Akers return from a torn right Achilles in less than six months during the 2021 season.

After clarifying his "few weeks" comment with McAfee, Rodgers then joked — presumably — that he'd be back in "a few fortnights," which roughly equates to as soon as six weeks.

That would be a late December return — we'll see if that happens and if the Jets (4-4) can stay in playoff contention until then.

Read more: Chargers defense outplays vaunted Jets unit, keeping N.Y. out of end zone in road win

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.