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Gregg Giannotti: Aaron Rodgers Will Complain to Pat McAfee If He Can’t Play This Year

Four plays into the National Football League season for the New York Jets, star quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a tear of his left Achilles tendon, which usually equates to a season-ending injury. Rodgers, however, seems to be trying to make it back to the field this season and took a step towards that progress on Sunday afternoon when he emerged to have a catch with a football coach at MetLife Stadium. Although the 40-year-old quarterback was wearing a boot on his left foot, he was able to hurl the football in the air and seemed comfortable on the surface.

Rodgers, who is paid for his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, has expressed that he is recovering from his injury with unique rehabilitation methods after undergoing a “speed bridge” procedure to repair the tendon. During one of his first appearances following the injury, Rodgers conveyed that anything was possible in his rehab process, although the prospect of his return could dampen as quarterback Zach Wilson continues a stretch of improved play.

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According to WFAN host Gregg Giannotti, Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers is the only player to ever return from an Achilles injury during the same season he sustained it. Even so, the rupture took place in July, and it took nearly six months for him to return to game shape and make it to the field.

Giannotti’s co-host, former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, finds it hard to believe that Rodgers will eclipse this feat, but he does not rule anything out. The problem in all of this, Giannotti affirmed, lies in the Jets acquiescent approach towards Rodgers, especially since the organization did whatever was necessary to acquire him – including the hire of Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator and signing former Green Bay Packers receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.

“In a situation like this, if he wants to prove everybody wrong and he wants to go out there and play but it’s not the right decision, what happens?,” Giannotti asked Monday morning on WFAN. “What happens? Does Woody Johnson tell him no? Who tells him no?”

Rodgers reportedly plans to regularly travel with the team following the Week 7 bye next week, which opens with a crosstown rivalry matchup against the New York Giants. If a request to return to the field near the end of the season is denied, Giannotti has no doubt that it would quickly become public knowledge because of his media intrigue and presence.

“Even if they think it’s the worst idea in the world, he’ll go out there,” Giannotti said. “[He’ll say], I want to do it. I’ll stand back there; I’ll get rid of the ball quick. I’m fine; I feel great; I feel 100%. He’ll be on McAfee – oh I just can’t wait for this. If the Jets do tell him, ‘No,’ then he’ll be on McAfee bitching about how, ‘I’m fine. I don’t know what they’re worried about. I figured I’d come back and we’d be in the playoffs.’”

The media attention a potential return of Rodgers could garner would likely be significant, which is accentuated by his Tuesday interviews with The Pat McAfee Show on ESPN. The Jets are scheduled to appear on four more prime time games this year, including a Week 9 Monday Night Football showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers and Week 10 Sunday Night Football tilt with the Las Vegas Raiders. “Gang Green” will also usher in the inaugural NFL Black Friday game (Friday, Nov. 24) when the team faces the Miami Dolphins on Amazon Prime Video at 3 p.m. EST.

McAfee and his eponymous digital program attained an average viewership of 1.4 million people per episode, accumulating a total of 242 million total views over the first month. ESPN licensed 235 episodes of his program in a multi-year, multimillion dollar deal as part of a new daytime programming lineup, which includes the addition to Shannon Sharpe to First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim. Concurrent with the television lineup, ESPN Radio unveiled new national programs; however, McAfee’s program is not part of that rotation, instead remaining on television and digital platforms.

“The whispers are happening,” Giannotti said, who noted that he is averse to Rodgers returning this season due to his age and the risk of re-injury. “It’s out there; it’s out there!”

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