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Robert Saleh on Aaron Rodgers: No Discussion on Availability 'Until He's Actually Cleared'

No Indication from HC After Miami on What Jets Will Decide as QB's 21-Day Practice Window Closes This Week


With Zach Wilson departing Sunday's game at Miami late in the first half with a concussion, and with Aaron Rodgers' 21-day window for returning from injured reserve to the active roster closing this week, there seemed little doubt that a certain subject would be broached after the game.

And it was asked, eight questions into Saleh's postgame news conference following the Jets' 30-0 loss to the Dolphins.

How does Sunday's loss affect the possibility of clearing Rodgers to return to the active roster in the coming week.

Saleh didn't have much to add to his answers to similar questions over the past few weeks.

"I don't have any ... there's not a discussion to be had until he's actually cleared," the head coach said.

On the one hand, it might seem tempting, if Rodgers still feels he wants to play this season, to see if he can spark anything in the final three games that he and the Jets could take into the 2024 offseason. On the other hand, the pressure the Dolphins brought, especially in the first half, against the weekly jumbled offensive line that yielded four sacks of Wilson, two more of backup Trevor Siemian and 14 quarterback hits in all, make it a difficult call to expose Rodgers to similar pressure.

"Week to week, it starts and ends up front," Saleh said. "We need to be better up front."

Tracy Wolfson, CBS' lead sideline reporter, said she spoke with Rodgers before Sunday's opening kickoff.

"Watching him on the sideline, you can just sense there's definitely disappointment," Wolfson said. "He was looking forward to potentially having that opportunity to return. With a lot of people involved in that decision, you know there'll be a lot of different people talking in his ear. But he said he definitely wanted the opportunity."

But before the opportunity could even be contemplated, Rodgers would need to be cleared for 11-on-11 drills at practice and after that for game action. Saleh. on Friday, was upbeat about Rodgers' Thursday practice.

"Yeah, he pushed it a little bit yesterday," the coach said. "He went under center and he's running boots and jogging from drill to drill. It looks normal to me, but it's unbelievable. Credit to him, especially in this day and age where a hangnail can affect a gameweek, but this dude is grinding to try to get himself back. It just shows how much he cares, and I have an appreciation for him."

But developments and hurdles still remain on the Rodgers front. Meanwhile, Saleh, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and the Jets have to prepare for Sunday's final home game, against the Washington Commanders, without the possibility not only of Rodgers not being activated but also Wilson being in the NFL's concussion protocol and with a QB depth chart of Siemian and recently signed Brett Rypien.

If it comes to that, Siemian said after his 33 offensive snaps and roughly 31 minutes of gameclock action against the Dolphins, "I'm ready. Whatever they need me to do, yeah, I'm ready to go."

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