Jets coach Robert Saleh expects Aaron Rodgers to be ready for offseason program

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ORLANDO, Fla. — The success of the Jets’ 2024 season will likely hinge on the health of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

But it appears the former four-time MVP will actively participate in the team’s workouts this spring.

During his 30-minute availability with reporters on Monday, Jets coach Robert Saleh told reporters that Rodgers should be a full go for their April 15 start of the offseason program.

“I’m expecting him to be available for the spring,” Saleh said. “You guys know, OTAs have become a 7-on-7 camp. So he should be able to do all that stuff.

“As we get closer, which we will in the next couple of weeks, we will communicate more with him.”

The Jets acquired Rodgers, 40, in a trade with the Packers last April. From that moment, many thought the Jets could be potential Super Bowl contenders.

Shortly after being acquired, Rodgers suffered a minor calf injury during OTAs. The injury didn’t bother Rodgers during training camp and entering the 2023 season.

But Rodgers played just four plays last season after tearing his Achilles four plays in the Jets season opener against the Bills on Sept. 11. He had surgery two days later, hoping to make an unprecedented return to the field.

Usually, Achilles injuries take nine to 12 months to recover from. However, the Jets opened Rodgers’ window on Nov. 29, and he began practicing with the team. He missed the rest of the season after the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention following a 30-0 Dec.17 loss to the Dolphins.

Rodgers continued practicing and was placed on the 53-man roster during the final three weeks of the season. That was done so Rodgers could keep practicing with the rest of the team. If he had reverted to injured reserve, Rodgers wouldn’t have been allowed to do so.

Following the end of the Jets disappointing 7-10 season, Rodgers continued to rehab in California.

“Aaron, I know he’s on a mission. I don’t want to speak for him,” Saleh said. “He’s working his tail off in California.

“He’s been communicating with us, I won’t say daily, but often. Knowing Aaron, he’s on a mission to do a lot of things that he wanted to do last year and he’s not going to stop until he gets it done.”

With the hopes of helping Rodgers, the Jets have added three starters on their offensive line this month. Gang Green signed former Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith and former Ravens left guard John Simpson. The Jets also added right tackle Morgan Moses in a trade with the Ravens.

“From a mental makeup standpoint, I’m really excited about the group,” Saleh said about the offensive line. “We know Morgan, he’s a warrior.

“We will get to know Tyron as we go. But when he’s on the field, he’s pretty good.

“John Simpson, I mean, he’s a war daddy. We’re excited to get him in the building.”