On September 12, 2023, the New York Jets suffered a devastating blow when their star quarterback Aaron Rodgers went down with a complete Achilles tear in the first quarter of their season opener against the Los Angeles Rams.
The injury, which typically takes around six to nine months to heal, seemed to dash Rodgers hopes of leading the Jets to the playoffs in his season with the team. However, the three-time league MVP has proved everyone wrong. Aaron has shown improvement in his rehabilitation raising the possibility that he could make a comeback before the season concludes.
In this article, we will tell you all about Aaron Rodgers injury, the procedure and recovery process, the challenges and risks he is facing, and provide you with updates on his current status.
The Details of Aaron Rodgers Injury
Aaron Rodgers injury occurred on September 12, 2023, in the first quarter of the Jets’ season opener against the Rams at MetLife Stadium. Rodgers was sacked by Rams linebacker Leonard Floyd and fell awkwardly on his left leg. He immediately grabbed his lower calf and ankle area and was in visible pain. He was carted off the field and taken to the locker room for further evaluation.
The Jets made a statement stating that Rodgers experienced a tear of his Achilles tendon, which is a very serious injury that involves the snapping of the tough fibrous cord connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone. The Achilles tendon is responsible for plantar flexion of the foot, which is the movement of pointing the toes downward. This movement is essential for running, jumping, and pushing off the ground.
The Surgery and Rehab Process for Aaron Rodgers Injury
Aaron Rodgers injury required surgery to reattach the two ends of the torn Achilles tendon. The surgery was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a renowned orthopedic surgeon who has operated on many elite athletes, including Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, and Stephen Curry. The surgery involved making an incision in the back of the leg, locating the two ends of the ruptured tendon, and suturing them together.
The wound was then closed and a cast or splint was applied to immobilize the ankle and foot. The rehab process for Aaron Rodgers injury began shortly after the surgery, to restore the strength, flexibility, and function of the ankle and foot. The rehab process typically consists of four phases, according to the Mayo Clinic:
Phase 1: Immobilization
For the first six weeks after the surgery, the ankle and foot are kept in a cast or splint to protect the healing tendon and prevent movement. The patient uses crutches or a walker to avoid putting weight on the injured leg.
Phase 2: Early Motion
After the cast or splint is removed, the patient begins gentle exercises to move the ankle and foot. The patient wears a boot or brace to support the ankle and foot and gradually increases the amount of weight-bearing on the injured leg.
Phase 3: Strengthening
As the tendon heals, the patient progresses to more advanced exercises to strengthen the calf muscles and improve the range of motion of the ankle and foot. The patient may also use an anti-gravity treadmill or other equipment to simulate running and jumping activities.
Phase 4: Return to Activity
The final phase of the rehab process involves returning to normal activities, such as walking, jogging, sprinting, and cutting. The patient may also resume sports-specific training and drills, depending on the level of performance and the sport.
The rehab process for Aaron Rodgers injury is closely monitored by a team of medical professionals, including the surgeon, physical therapist, strength trainer, and nutritionist. The patient also plays an important role in the rehab process, by following the prescribed exercises, avoiding activities that may cause reinjury, and maintaining a positive attitude.
The Challenges and Risks of Aaron Rodgers Injury
Aaron Rodgers injury is not only a physical setback, but also a mental and emotional one. The quarterback, who is known for his competitive spirit and high standards, has to cope with the frustration and uncertainty of being sidelined for an indefinite period of time. He also has to deal with the pressure and expectations of his fans, teammates, coaches, and himself, who are all eager to see him back on the field.
While Rodgers has shown remarkable progress in his recovery, he still faces many challenges and risks in his return to play. One of the main challenges is regaining his confidence and trust in his injured leg, which may affect his performance and decision-making on the field. Another challenge is adapting to the new system and chemistry of the Jets, who have a different coach, playbook, and personnel than the Packers, his former team.
One of the main risks of Aaron Rodgers injury is the possibility of reinjury or complications, which could jeopardize his career and health. According to a study by the American Journal of Sports Medicine, the re-rupture rate of Achilles tendon repair is 3.5%, and the rate of other complications, such as infection, nerve damage, or blood clots, is 6.3%. Moreover, a study by the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine found that NFL players who suffered Achilles tendon ruptures had a 28% lower performance score and a 33% lower chance of returning to play than matched controls.
Aaron Rodgers’ injury is not only a test of his physical abilities, but also of his mental and emotional resilience. He has to balance his desire to play with his long-term well-being, and his optimism with his realism. He has to prove to himself and the world that he can overcome this adversity and return to his elite level of play.