Aaron Rodgers not expected to have any restrictions in the Jets' next phase of offseason workouts


FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Aaron Rodgers is on track to be on the field without limitations for the New York Jets in a few weeks.

Coach Robert Saleh said Friday after the team’s first day of rookie minicamp practices that Rodgers has looked good as he continues to work his way back eight months after tearing his left Achilles tendon in his Jets debut.

“He’s here, he’s working,” Saleh said. “I mean, the guy can still sling it. Obviously, he’s still working through his rehab, but no issues on the trajectory on which he’s going.”

The Jets begin organized team activities — also called “phase three” of offseason workouts — on May 20, which is when they can hold non-contact 11-on-11 drills during practice. And Rodgers, if in attendance for the voluntary sessions, should be able to participate fully.

“It’s naturally managed because of the phase one, phase two part of it,” Saleh said. “But once phase three hits, we’re not anticipating any restrictions from what we can and can not do with him.”

Rodgers was injured just four snaps into the Jets’ season-opening win over Buffalo on Sept. 11. He had surgery to repair the Achilles tendon two days later and was aggressive with his recovery and rehabilitation, hoping to return late in the season if New York remained in the playoff hunt.

The Jets failed to stay in postseason contention in late-December — which Rodgers was targeting for his return — and his injury wasn’t completely healed, so the four-time NFL MVP focused instead on his comeback for this year.

Saleh said at the NFL meetings in Orlando, Florida, in March that Rodgers was on track to practice when the Jets began voluntary OTAs — and that plan remains in place.

General manager Joe Douglas focused on improving the offensive line in front of Rodgers during free agency, signing left tackle Tyron Smith and left guard John Simpson and also acquiring right tackle Morgan Moses from Baltimore. New York also drafted Penn State offensive tackle Olu Fashanu with the No. 11 overall pick in the draft last week.

The Jets also added some playmakers for Rodgers, including signing former Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams to complement Garrett Wilson. They drafted former Western Kentucky wide receiver Malachi Corley in the third round and later took a pair of running backs — Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen (fourth round) and South Dakota State’s Isaiah Davis (fifth) — to join Breece Hall and Israel Abanikanda in the backfield.

“It’s an exciting group to work with, for sure,” Saleh said. “We’ve still got to get to work. There’s still a lot of work to be done. No. 1 thing is keeping all these guys healthy. But it’s a group that we’re excited about.”

The Jets’ draft picks worked off to the side during the first rookie minicamp practice, the usual procedure for players they selected while undrafted and unsigned free agents go through team drills trying to impress the coaching staff.

Fashanu didn’t do much, though, later telling reporters he had a “minor” quadriceps injury while running the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine in Indianapolis in February.

“I’ve just been rehabbing that,” Fashanu said. “It’s just easing me in and just getting me out on the field and seeing how I’m moving and all that.”

Quarterback Jordan Travis, a fifth-rounder out of Florida State, is rehabilitating a broken left ankle suffered last season.

Saleh said Travis appears on track to participate in practice when training camp begins in July.

The Jets announced the signings of 17 undrafted free agents, including Duke safety Al Blades Jr., the nephew of former Seahawks star safety Bennie Blades.

Among other players signed were West Florida quarterback Peewee Jarrett, who threw 32 touchdown passes last season, and edge rusher Braiden McGregor, who had 4 1/2 sacks for national champion Michigan last season.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl



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