After missing the last two games due to a "serious" undisclosed illness, Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers was medically cleared Monday and is happy to be back with the team.
"To walk in the locker room and see those guys, it's just good to be back," Rodgers told the media Thursday. "Sometimes you take for granted what it is to be around the guys and be with them every day and kind of a family unit that it becomes."
The Green & White's defensive play caller elected to not share the nature of his illness, but said he had a procedure two weeks ago and received the results earlier this week.
"It was kind of crazy. When we first knew, Coach [Bowles] told the whole team that I'd be away," Rodgers said. "I had just gotten back to my house and I guess he had just finished the team meeting. Then I got a lot of texts from all the guys. What's kind of ironic is that I coach the defense, but just as many offensive guys were reaching out and everything."
Rodgers remained positive during his time away from the team and said the support he received, from former coaches he worked with to everyone at One Jets Drive, was "truly touching."
Rodgers, who's been coaching for 26 years, said watching the Jets-Broncos Week 5 matchup from his couch was the most difficult part of his time away from the team. Last week against the Colts, Rodgers was a "casual observer" at MetLife Stadium, but he broke down the team following their 42-34 victory.
"That's priceless," he said. "From my standpoint, you never want to be a distraction to the team. I knew everybody else had to pick up my weight from the coaching staff. Todd had to do more, the assistants had to do more, but for the players to know they have a job to do, I felt like I was hindering them. But to know they were thinking about me while they were trying to do their jobs really means a lot."
Head coach Todd Bowles said Rodgers will ease back into his usual role with the team and Rodgers joked that maybe he should stay away considering the club's performance over the last two weeks. But as for calling plays Sunday, Rodgers said it's still up in the air.
"Right now, we're just going to finish the week and we'll talk about it towards the end of the week," he said. "But since I've been back, everything has been status quo like business as usual."