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Jets have until Wednesday to activate Aaron Rodgers off IR; game vs. Dolphins could impact decision

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The deadline for the New York Jets to activate Aaron Rodgers off injured reserve is nearly upon us.

The long-awaited, highly-celebrated arrival of Rodgers on the practice field on Nov. 29 would only be trumped in excitement if Rodgers somehow made it onto the field during a game this season after tearing his Achilles just minutes into his regular-season debut with the Jets.

Rodgers must be activated off IR by Wednesday to have a chance to play this season. And while sources say more discussions are needed on Monday and Tuesday to arrive at a final conclusion, Sunday's game against the Dolphins could go a long way in determining what's next.

And to be clear, sources have continued to insist it's a serious long-shot that Rodgers plays at all again this season. There are some very important people in the organization who -- out of caution -- want to keep Rodgers out of harm's way until next season. But no one wants to slow down the work he's done in rehab and everyone respects his intense desire to play.

Here are the scenarios for Sunday:

  • If the Jets lose, they'll be eliminated from the playoffs if any of the Browns (vs. CHI), Texans (at TEN) or Bills (vs. DAL) win tomorrow. If that happens, Rodgers likely won't be activated and his season would be over. An incredible feat to even practice so close to undergoing Achilles surgery in September, but not enough to get him on the field.
  • If the Jets do win, their faint playoffs hopes would remain alive at 6-8. At that point, the pendulum would likely swing the other direction. Rodgers could be activated to the 53-man roster, but still would be unlikely to play next week. While the Jets' Dec. 24 game against the Commanders has always been his target, sources say that remains far-fetched.

Sources also say Rodgers pushed it extremely hard in practice this week, and he'll be actively campaigning to get on the field if the Jets have a pulse.

Even if the Jets activate Rodgers, the most likely option is either be inactive as the third QB (to allow him to watch the game in uniform) or just plain inactive.

Much is in flux.

Either way, Rodgers has impressed those on the Jets who have watched him on a daily basis.

Head coach Robert Saleh noted this past week that Rodgers went under center in practice and jogged from one drill to another. He's clearly improving.

"I mean, it looks normal to me, but it's unbelievable," Saleh said on Dec. 15. "This dude is grinding to try to get himself back. It shows how much he cares, and I have an appreciation for him."

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