If there’s anyone who knows about injuries – avoiding them, getting them, dealing with them, and most importantly playing through them – it’s the seemingly invulnerable man from Mississippi, Brett Favre. That’s why Jason Whitlock asked the NFL’s Iron Man for his thoughts on Jets QB Aaron Rodgers’ tragic Achilles tear.
Of course, that’s not the only reason. Both Favre and Rodgers are Green Bay Packers legends who rewrote the storied franchise’s record books who were traded to the Jets during the twilight years of their careers. (Favre, like Rodgers, would also end up getting injured in the Big Apple.)
Favre, who started 321 games in a row, sat down with Whitlock to give his take.
“My first impression was, ‘you have got to be kidding me.’ Of course we didn’t know how serious it was at the time, but nonetheless we knew he was not coming back in that game. And all the hype and build-up… I don’t think anyone could have expected anything like this.”
Favre continued, “Aaron’s had some injuries in the past, but obviously this one’s different.” To a point, Mr. Favre. Rodgers has gone down with season-ending injuries before. In 2013, Rodgers broke his collar bone in November, and in 2017 Rodgers broke the other collar bone in October.
But Favre is right in that an Achilles tear is more serious than a collar bone, and the fact that Rodgers turns 40 this year only makes it all the worse.
And that was just the question Whitlock had next – can Rodgers come back from this at 40?
Favre, who played until he was 41, said, “I believe that he certainly doesn’t want to go out that way. That being said, there’s a lot that goes into coming back. … With technology today, the surgery I assume should go well, and you know I think Aaron’s got enough competitive spirit in him that he’ll come back. Just because people either [don’t] expect him to, or don’t expect him if he comes back to be the caliber of player he once was.
“And I think that he’s capable of being as good, if not better, after this injury.”
That would be an extremely tall order, but Favre hits the nail on the head. Aaron’s competitive nature could absolutely carry him to prove doubters wrong. He’s been famously carrying a Lombardi Trophy-size chip on his shoulder since the draft.
Watch Favre’s interview with Jason Whitlock:
It’s interesting that Favre noted the improvements in technology, given that there are reports that Rodgers underwent some newfangled, experimental Achilles surgery aimed at getting him back on the field by playoff time.
Favre is no stranger to pain, and that started long before he ever trotted out onto Lambeau Field. A car wreck in college left him with 30 fewer inches of intestine than God gave him, and only six weeks later the future Gunslinger carried Southern Miss to victory over the Crimson Tide, in Alabama.
In the NFL, Favre laughed in the face of pain. Broken throwing thumb, concussions beyond number, separated shoulders, sprains of every kind and severity, torn biceps, fractured feet, elbow tendinitis, stitches, you name it. You don’t get to 321 starts in a row without Wolverine-level regeneration.
Matter of fact, unless your name is Brett Favre, you just don’t get to 321 starts in a row. Period.