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Aaron Rodgers made headlines with another pregame showing Monday, throwing deep passes on three-step dropbacks just two months after undergoing surgery for a torn Achilles. The rehabbing Jets quarterback was even more newsworthy after New York's Week 9 loss to the Chargers, in which he could be heard teasing a return to action: "Give me a few weeks."

But don't read too much into it, Rodgers cautioned a day later while appearing on "The Pat McAfee Show."

"I've known (Chargers safety) Derwin (James) for a while," he explained. "We've got the same agency. He came over, dapped me up during the game. ... I didn't realize that (statement) was gonna get caught there. Obviously that was said with a little tongue-in-cheek there. It'd be nice to be back in a couple of weeks. That's probably not anywhere near a realistic timeline. It could be a few, it could be a lot. It's more of a phrase that didn't have a specific timetable. I said it smiling, joking."

To be clear, Rodgers clarified, the goal is still to return before the end of the 2023 season. He said he likes where he's at in rehab and remains "obviously ahead of schedule." But it's "obviously gonna be more than a couple weeks" until he has any conversations with Jets staffers about suiting up. And even then, he admitted, New York's standing in the playoff race could affect the possibility as well: "That is a very small part of the thought process ... (but) obviously we gotta be in the mix."

Rodgers, of course, did not play in Monday's game; he remains on injured reserve while recovering from an ailment that typically requires nine to 12 months of rehab. But James approached the former Packers star following Monday's final buzzer, and could be heard asking Rodgers straight-up, "When you coming back, man?" To which Rodgers appeared to offer his playful reply: "Give me a few weeks."

Monday wasn't the first time Rodgers threw passes pregame, but it was the first time he showcased a willingness to repeatedly use his legs while throwing deep, at least since he suffered the Achilles tear in Week 1.

CBS Sports HQ injury expert Marty Jaramillo told CBSSports.com in October that Rodgers is "absolutely" on pace for an unprecedented return this year, at least according to the visual evidence of his movement without crutches. Specifically, Jaramillo estimated that Rodgers, who underwent a relatively new procedure to accelerate Achilles repair, could be fully ready to play 12-14 weeks after surgery, which would mean as early as Week 15, when the Jets visit the Dolphins on Dec. 17.

"It's pretty obvious I'm well ahead of the normal protocols when it comes to rehab for this kind of thing," Rodgers previously told "The Pat McAfee Show." "[We're] being as smart as possible, not trying to stress the Achilles but stretch the Achilles in a way that allows me to start doing movement quicker and to speed up whatever timeline has kind of been the standard for this type of injury."