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Rodgers returns to practice after Jets open 21-day window

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Aaron Rodgers made the next step in his rehabilitation from an Achilles injury Wednesday as the New York Jets officially opened the quarterback's practice window.

New York will have 21 days to either activate Rodgers from injured reserve or shut him down for the rest of the campaign.

"This isn't so much getting ready to play as it is a progression in his rehab," said head coach Robert Saleh.

Saleh added that Rodgers is cleared for functional football activities but not contact, according to Cameron Wolfe of NFL Network.

Rodgers was injured in the season opener while making his debut for the team. Achilles tears are usually season-ending ailments, but Rodgers is aiming for an unprecedented recovery timetable after undergoing a "speed bridge" procedure, which could help accelerate the healing process.

The four-time MVP said Tuesday that he'll base his decision to play again this season on his health and the Jets' playoff chances.

The AFC East club is 4-7 after losing four straight games, and its postseason chances stand at less than 1%, according to The New York Times' playoff simulator. The Jets will likely need to win out to play in January.

Their matchup with the Washington Commanders on Dec. 24 is reportedly the most likely date for Rodgers to return if he does opt to play again.

New York turned to Tim Boyle at quarterback the last two weeks following former No. 2 pick Zach Wilson's struggles.

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