New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose Week 1 injury altered the landscape of the 2023 NFL season, still hopes to return this year despite his team being all but officially eliminated from playoff contention. In an appearance on NFL Game Day, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Rodgers hopes to return to practice this week, a target date set by the player months ago.

Rodgers, acquired by the Jets from the Green Bay Packers in a massive offseason trade,  suffered a torn Achilles tendon just four plays into his Jets career. Backup quarterbacks Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle have struggled to fill the void left by the former league MVP all season. The team's current 4-7 record, including a blowout loss to the Miami Dolphins on Black Friday, places them 14th in the AFC — officially out of playoff contention with six games remaining.

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GM Joe Douglas in the middle - Rome Odunze, Jaden Hicks, Braelon Allen around him - New York Jets wallpaper in the background

Enzo Flojo ·

Rodgers' injury didn't just send shockwaves across the league by severely minimizing the Jets' playoff hopes. The incident also sparked an ongoing firestorm about the safety of artificial turf on NFL fields — despite the fact the surface at MetLife Stadium seemed to have little influence on the play that felled the star quarterback.

Do the Jets still have a postseason prayer? Though it's still mathematically possible, it will be a difficult hill to climb. Pro Football Reference reports that the team has the 13th most difficult remaining schedule amongst NFL teams — placing them right in the middle of the pack. The team's regular season calendar features only two teams currently in the playoff hunt.