The road to recovery: A look at the comeback journeys of other athletes from Achilles tearsNovember 30, 2023
Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers is making an incredible comeback as he approaches an unthinkable return to practice after tearing his left Achilles just three months ago. If the 39-year-old Rodgers is activated by the Jets, it would complete an unprecedented turnaround after suffering a complete tendon tear. His return to play would be surprising, as head coach Robert Saleh had initially said that Rodgers was “out for the year” back in September. Although Rodgers admitted that he is still not fully healthy and needs to take into consideration his team’s position in the playoff picture before returning to play. The 4-7 Jets are four games back in the AFC East and two games out of the conference’s final wild card spot. The surgery on Rodgers’ Achilles involved placing an internal brace known as a “speed bridge” in an effort to expedite his return to the field. Although there is no guarantee that Rodgers would be effective so soon after the surgery, there are a few examples of other notable athletes returning from Achilles tears that suggest Rodgers could possibly make a comeback. These examples include former Rams running back Cam Akers, Hall of Famer Johnny Unitas, former Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde, former NBA player Dominique Wilkins, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, basketball superstar Kevin Durant, and soccer great David Beckham. These athletes’ success in returning from Achilles tears suggests that it is possible for Rodgers to do the same.