December 1, 2023

Aaron Rodgers is focused on the New York Jets and his Achilles rehab, but old habits die hard: He still likes poking the Chicago Bears.

Rodgers, a guest Friday on “The Pat McAfee Show,” said he sent Packers quarterback Jordan Love a text message after Green Bay beat the Bears in Week 1 at Soldier Field.

“I said congratulations on keeping the ownership in place,” Rodgers said, smiling. “That was pretty awesome for him.”

In 15 seasons as the Packers’ starter, Rodgers compiled a 24-5 record against the Bears, famously screaming, “I still own you!” after scoring a game-clinching touchdown at Soldier Field in 2021. Love, in his first start as Rodgers’ successor, passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers’ 38-20 win.

The day after the congratulatory text, Rodgers tore his left Achilles tendon on the fourth play of the Jets’ opener, resulting in season-ending surgery two days later. Updating his rehab, Rodgers, 39, said he’s out of the cast but still in a walking boot and unable to walk on his own.

When he’s able to walk, he hopes to return to the Jets’ facility. Coach Robert Saleh said they hope to have him in the building next week.

“Trying to get out of the boot is kind of the next goal so I feel the strength to be able to stand up on my own,” Rodgers said. “Then the boot comes off and then it kind of gets exciting. I think then you feel like you’re not just a big turd laying around, everybody taking care of you. So that’ll be nice.”

Rodgers, who did the interview from a rehab facility near his home in Malibu, California, described it as a “tough” ordeal.

“It’s not easy, but there’s been some progressions with the rehab the last couple of days, so that kind of gets the hope meter kind of trending upward a little bit,” he said. “The joy meter trending up a little bit.”

A week ago, a defiant Rodgers said he’d “shock” people with his recovery, hinting he could return for the playoffs. On Friday, he was more vague with regard to a comeback.

“I don’t want to get caught into a timeline,” he said. “I just want to get healthy, honestly, mentally and physically, honestly. But I’m going to do everything I can rehab-wise to put myself in a position to be ready to play football again at some point. And that’s the goal.

“I mean, obviously, when this happened, there’s a lot of thoughts about, ‘That’s it, cash it in, you’re done.’ I just don’t feel like I am, so I’m going to put myself in position to be able to play again.”

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