New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return to practice just 11 weeks after undergoing surgery on a torn Achilles tendon, head coach Robert Saleh said on Wednesday.
Rodgers will be limited to non-contact practice initially but the move paves the way for a possible return to action this season for the four-time MVP.
"This isn't so much getting ready to play as much as it is a progression in his rehab," Saleh told reporters.
"There's no added risk to it. There's certain things that he's been cleared that we are going to allow him to do. Aaron is not going to do anything to put himself in harm's way," he said.
Rodgers had been the off-season focus of the NFL after he was traded to the Jets after 18 seasons with the Green Bay Packers.
His arrival was supposed to put the Jets over the top in their bid to become a title contender but without him the Jets have struggled offensively behind backups Zach Wilson and Tim Boyle.
The Jets have a 4-7 record and only the slimmest of chances of making the postseason.
Rodgers, who was injured on the Jets' fourth play of the season, had been bullish about returning despite knowing that such a speedy return from an serious Achilles injury would be unprecedented in the NFL.
"I think it's a testament to who he is as a human and obviously there's a little bit of that drive where he wants to prove it can be done faster than anybody's done it before," said Saleh.
Rodgers is a 10-time Pro Bowler who has been the NFL's passer rating leader on four occasions and twice has been the league's passing touchdowns leader. (AFP)