NEW YORK — Last week during the first OTA practice made available to the media, Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers strained his calf.
Eight days later, Rodgers was limited during Wednesday’s practice, but Jets coach Robert Saleh said he expects the 39-year-old quarterback to fully participate later this week.
“He’s fine,” Saleh said. “He’s just doing a bunch of rehab.”
While warming up before practice, Rodgers injured his calf during conditional drills on May 23. It appeared he injured his calf during a drill that involved a medicine ball and a sled with a weight attached to it.
He watched practice from the sidelines but told reporters he decided to take a “vet day” last week as he didn’t think the injury was too severe.
On Wednesday, Rodgers, for the most part, continued to watch the rest of the Jets players practice from the sideline. At the start of practice, Rodgers and tackle Duane Brown rode stationary bikes off to the side while players did conditional drills.
Rodgers did do some light throwing to staff members on the side. More than a few of Rodgers’ passes were over 40, 50 yards through the air. Rodgers was seen giving instructions to his teams in between team drills and throwing sessions.
Given his age and the fact that it’s May 31, it is easy to see why the Jets will only practice Rodgers fully once he is 100%. During OTAs, the Jets mainly focus on fundamentals and conditioning, as there is only a little 7-on-7 or 11-on-11 work during camp.
Also, Rodgers knows the offense better well since this is the same offensive system he used with the Packers, as Nathaniel Hackett was his offensive coordinator from 2019-21.
As long as Rodgers is ready for training camp and the marathon of the NFL season, there doesn’t appear to be a lot of worry among Jets brass. They will manage his practice since Rodgers will be 40 in December.
On April 26, the Jets officially acquired Rodgers in a trade with the Packers, along with the No. 15 pick and a fifth-round in the 2023 draft. In exchange, the Packers received the Jets No. 13 overall pick, a 2023 second- and sixth-round pick and a conditional 2024 pick that could become a first-rounder if Rodgers plays 65% of the Jets snaps during the 2023 season.
“You always try to educate and learn,” Saleh said. “I still argue he’s still a young man, the way he takes care of his body. I know his age, his body is not his age. We’ve got to do a better job of just making sure that we communicate with the players and understanding where they are at certain points.
“I think that was our first tweak in our activation period, but we’ll always look to modify it if we need to.”
This year was the first time since 2019 Rodgers has participated in voluntary minicamp practice. He has also embraced his new surroundings in New Jersey and New York.
Earlier this month, Rodgers attended Knicks and Rangers games at Madison Square Garden. Then last weekend, Rodgers was seen dancing as he saw two of pop singer Taylor Swift’s concerts at MetLife Stadium.
“Green Bay is an amazing place, but you don’t have opportunities like that,” Jets receiver Randall Cobb said. “You can’t go to Broadway and watch a show, there is no Broadway.
“We used to go to Bucks games all the time, but that was a two-hour drive, it’s 30 minutes here. The opportunity to go and be invited and feel the city, I’m sure he’s enjoying it.”