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Aaron Rodgers: Return from torn Achilles depends on health, if Jets are ‘alive’ in playoff race

The Jets’ position in the postseason picture will be a factor in whether Aaron Rodgers tries to return from a torn Achilles this season — but not the only one.

First and foremost, Rodgers must be healthy enough to play before he considers whether a comeback makes sense, the 39-year-old quarterback said Tuesday during his weekly appearance on ESPN’s “The Pat McAfee Show.”

“It’s always been, first, am I healthy?” Rodgers said. “And then, are we alive, are we in it, are we playing good enough to make a run? Can I step in and protect myself and play at the level that I feel like I’m capable of playing?”

The Jets’ playoff chances are dwindling, with Friday’s loss to the Dolphins dropping their record to 4-7. The Jets are now four games back of division-leading Miami in the AFC East and two games out of the conference’s final wild card spot.

They’ve lost four games in a row — including three in blowout fashion — and are down to their third-string quarterback in Tim Boyle, who replaced the benched Zach Wilson last week. Only the 2-9 Patriots have a worse record among AFC teams.

The Jets acquired Rodgers from the Packers over the offseason, hoping the four-time NFL MVP would transform a team boasting a stout defense and up-and-coming offensive weapons into a Super Bowl contender.

But Rodgers tore his left Achilles on the fourth offensive snap of the Sept. 11 season-opener. He underwent surgery two days later and has maintained hope for an improbable return to the field this season.

“There’s a natural progression here to the rehab, and that’s gonna involve actually getting back onto the field to start to do some things that are more football-related,” Rodgers said Tuesday. “But again, we’re not where I can make a decision on playing because, health-wise, I’m improving steadily, but I’m not at an ability to play at this point.”

His comments come days after Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer suggested Rodgers could return to the Jets “even if they’re out of it.”

“[Rodgers] still wants to show he was able to come back faster from that Achilles tear, faster than pretty much any quarterback ever,” Glazer said last week.

The Jets are set to host the Falcons this Sunday and still have games remaining against the Dolphins, Texans, Commanders, Browns and Patriots.