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Aaron Rodgers should carefully consider returning to the New York Jets (Op-Ed)

Only four snaps into his regular-season career, Aaron Rodgers ruptured his achilles as the starting quarterback for the New York Jets in the 2023-2024 NFL season. 

Anyone who was viewing the game against the Buffalo Bills last Sept. remembers the moment, and how one misstep altered the entire season of the Jets, bringing the promising, yet green Zach Wilson to the forefront for the remainder of the Jets ultimately disappointing run. 

Looking forward to the 2024 season, it’s clear that Rodgers, the Jets team, the fanbase, and the NFL as a whole are eagerly anticipating his return. With a remarkable recovery from his injury through a sat-out season and intensive procedures paired with physical therapy, there seems to be greener pastures ahead for the Jets, but it would do them wisely to consider the alternative for the time being- in other words, not starting Rodgers as quarterback for at least a portion of this upcoming season. 

Once an injury such as an Achilles tear occurs, the affected individual is more prone to the same thing happening again with a lower threshold for error. With Rodgers not being the only player, or QB that was prematurely taken out in 2023-2024 due to Achilles injuries (controversially caused by the turf used in several NFL fields) ,there is no guaranteeing that the same shortcoming will not happen again. 

Doubts have been cast on Rodgers ability and overall health during his recovery, with some claiming that he has rushed through the healing process and is jumping the gun to get back on the field, leaving him vulnerable. 

Overall, it is in the best interest of the Jets management, team, and overall NFL staff to take it slow with Rodgers, continuing his recovery from the sidelines while safely and responsibly maintaining his athleticism. His guidance and knowledge to Wilson throughout last season was highly valuable to the team and himself, allowing for his ball knowledge to continue on and strengthen through extended involvement with playmaking and decision-making on and off the field. 

For now, set aside the financial allures and audience pressures of a great comeback, and focus on what matters more than anything in the football world- health and wellbeing for one of the greatest of all time in 2024. 

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