Robert Saleh, Jets appreciate Aaron Rodgers’ ‘infectious’ impact after Week 6 win

Jets love what they have from Aaron Rodgers
New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers sits on the bench during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Since Aaron Rodgers returned to the New York Jets three weeks ago, a major turnaround has been noticed inside the halls of the team’s facility in Florham Park.

“His (Rodgers) superpower is his presence,” Jets head coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “Him being in this building, being around his teammates, being in the locker room, his positive attitude, his thoughts of manifestation and all that stuff, I think it’s powerful.”

On the field, the Jets have played their best football on the season since the quarterback has returned to the sideline. New York has won their last two contests, the latest of which, was a stunning Week 6 victory over the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles. Gang Green’s offense has taken care of the football while their defense has shut down All-Pro quarterbacks like Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes. 

Philadelphia Eagles’ D’Andre Swift (0), bottom, fumbles the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. The New York Jets recovered the fumble. (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray)

For the first time since his injury in the season-opening game, Rodgers had a headset on the sideline and was giving suggestions to the coaching staff during the Jets win over Philadelphia on Sunday. 

To a coach like Saleh, having a veteran quarterback like this is only a good thing for his offensive staff.

“Selfishly, I want him here every single day,” Saleh explained. “I want him in every meeting. I want him on the practice field. I want him on the sideline. I want him in the locker room … because he’s an unbelievable human and, outside of scheme and playing ability, the intangibles that he brings to his teammates and the fuel I think his teammates will give to him is priceless.”

Rodgers has made tremendous progress in his recovery from a torn Achilles he suffered in Week 1 – so much so that the quarterback was seen throwing the football around before the Jets Week 6 contest without a brace or limp. 

That has allowed many within the Jets’ organization to appreciate the fact that New York could potentially be far closer to having their franchise quarterback return to the starting lineup.

“It’s always good to have him back. Just his presence, it’s hard to explain having him back. It’s exciting seeing him out there,” tight end Tyler Conklin explained. 

At 3-3, the Jets seem to be staying afloat even without the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback. Their defense has thwarted some of the best offenses in football while their offense has done just enough for the team to win games. The more both sides continue to play well, the better chances the Jets have of ending their decade-long playoff drought.

New York Jets’ Breece Hall (20), left, is tackled by Philadelphia Eagles’ Zach Cunningham during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

The closer New York gets to that goal, the more likely Rodgers has of returning during this season alone – something that has never happened with players recovering from torn Achilles injuries. 

Regardless if Rodgers returns to the starting lineup or not, having him around the organization continues to transform the luck that once plagued the entire Jets franchise. And with him on the sideline, it seems that the power of belief has overtaken the entire group. 

As most teams have shown, just having that belief can go quite a long way. 

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