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Jets: How the Late Kobe Bryant Help Prevent Aaron Rodgers From Retiring After Latest Setback

Kansas City Chiefs v New York Jets

(Photo : Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – A detailed view of the Aircast is seen on a Injured Aaron Rodgers (#8) of the New York Jets prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at MetLife Stadium on October 01, 2023 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Imagine spending so much on a player and anchoring all your hopes on him, only for them to be dashed when the player suddenly decides to retire.

This almost happened to the New York Jets as Aaron Rodgers recently revealed that he contemplated retiring because of the injury that ended his 2023 season.

The four-time MVP joined the Jets in the summer of last season, making the franchise one of the most intriguing clubs in the league.

However, the intrigue died down before it reached its peak when Rodgers ruptured his Achilles tendon in Week 1 and was unable to return to play in any games.

This injury had Rodgers thinking about finally hanging the gloves as he thought what he had was the type nobody could return from.

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He thought his ego died after only being able to make four plays with his new team.

Rodgers confessed during an appearance on the “I Can Fly” podcast.

What got him through it, he shared, was the presence of his closest friends.

“I said, ‘I need help,'” Rodgers recalled. “‘This is going to be really, tough. I just need you all to be there for me on the tough days when I stop believing it’s possible.'”

Aaron Rodgers is now recovering well from the Achilles injury.

Head coach Robert Saleh said last month that the four-time MVP could join next month’s training in preparation for the new season.

One thing that helped him is turning to the recovery method that the late Kobe Bryant used.

How Kobe Bryant helped Aaron Rodgers

Even in death, Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant is inspiring athletes.

Rodgers said he immediately turned to the Black Mamba’s similar incident in his recovery plan in 2013.

He said he started researching Kobe’s surgery and that “the doomsday of, like, my career is over kind of started to go away.”

Bryant’s injury occurred in an April game against the Golden State Warriors. What followed was the definitive Mamba Mentality, as he still managed to sink two free throws despite his ruptured Achilles.

His surgery was done by renowned sports doctor Neal ElAttrache, director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship program at Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

He started rehabbing, and there was hope that he would return for the opener in October 2014.

While the recovery seemed extra optimistic, Bryant still preached patience.

“There’s a certain amount of time that they deem necessary for the tendon to heal where you don’t overstretch it and now you never get that spring back,” he said back then.

“So, you just have to be patient, let the tendon heal, and then when that moment comes when they say, ‘OK, we can take off the regulator so to speak and now it’s on you to train as hard as you can to get back to where you want to be,’ that’s going to be a good day.”

Rodgers and Kobe both got injured at the tail-end of their careers. If everything goes well, maybe Rodgers will also have a great end to his football career.

Related article: Colts QB Anthony Richardson Says He Is Still a Rookie at Heart; Details His Improvement During Recovery

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