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Notebook | Jets QB Aaron Rodgers Ramps Up Practice Workload Ahead of Dolphins Game

Robert Saleh Preparing Like Tyreek Hill Will Play Despite Not Practicing All Week


Jets QB Aaron Rodgers, who returned to practice Nov. 29 after he underwent surgery Sept. 14 to repair his torn left Achilles tendon, ramped up his workload in Thursday's practice.

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

Rodgers' 21-day practice window closes next Wednesday, so the Jets have a looming decision whether to activate the four-time NFL MVP whose first season with the Green & White -- after 18 in Green Bay -- was curtailed four snaps into it.

Since returning to practice, Rodgers has been participating in individual drills and Flight School at the end of the practice, which is 7-on-7. Rodgers operated in the shotgun during Flight School on Thursday, which was a third-down session. He has yet to take 11-on-11 reps.

He told reporters earlier this month, "A comeback this year before the four-month mark would mean I'm not 100% healthy, so it would be a risk for myself and team to sign off on. If we are out of it, I would be surprised if they OK'd that to come back."

The Jets (5-8) are two games out of the wild card entering the weekend and will look to split their series with the AFC-East leading Dolphins (9-4) Sunday.

Tyreek Hill's Status Up in the Air for Sunday
Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill is questionable for Sunday's game in South Florida, but HC Robert Saleh and the Jets are preparing as if the NFL's leader in receiving yards (1,542) will play.

"They are still dynamic, and they still do a lot of things," Saleh said. He added: "And if he doesn't play, they have got a whole host of track stars that can that still execute the offense the way it needs to be executed."

Hill has not practiced this week after he sustained an ankle injury in Miami's Week 14 loss to the Titans on Monday night. He took 34 snaps on offense and finished with 4 receptions for 61 yards.

"He completely alters game plans when he's on the field," Saleh said. "He allows for so much. Mike McDaniel is already a very creative offensive mind and you give him a piece that's unique to anyone in football and you just see the creativity go to a whole new level because there are things that they can only do because they have Tyreek."

As for the Jets, WR Jason Brownlee (ankle) and T Carter Warren (hip) won't play vs. the Dolphins and T Max Mitchell (neck) and rookie DE Will McDonald (knee) are questionable for Sunday.

Early Impressions of Mike McDaniel
Before second-year HC Mike McDaniel was pegged as one of the NFL's best young offensive minds leading a Dolphins team that sits atop the AFC East at 9-4, he overlapped with Jets HC Robert Saleh in San Francisco.

Before that, McDaniel and Jets DC Jeff Ulbrich were on the same Falcons coaching staff from 2015-16 where McDaniel served as an offensive assistant and Ulbrich was the linebackers coach.

"I knew he was one of the most insanely intelligent human beings that I've ever been around in my life," said Ulbrich, who spent six seasons with the Falcons. "He's got a quirkiness to him for sure, and he's very unique in that way from a personality standpoint."

McDaniel's offense that averages 36.1 points per game got the best of the Jets defense in Week 12. The Dolphins scored 27 points on offense and totaled 395 yards in a 34-13 win. Ulbrich is looking forward to the opportunity for his top-5 defense to bounce back Sunday.

"He really does an excellent job at figuring out your rules and then how can I attack those rules, how can I compromise your rules, how can I put your guys in conflict the entire game?" he said of McDaniel. "It's my job to try to eliminate those conflicts. It's my job to try to figure out ways we can alleviate some of that stress he's trying to put on our players, but it is a chess match for sure."

See all of the best photos from Week 15 practices before Sunday's game against the Miami Dolphins.

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