After just four plays during Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills, Aaron Rodgers’ first season with the New York Jets came to an end. But, does his Achilles tendon injury mean an end to the quarterback’s NFL career?
“He’s so good. I would never count him out. Not yet,” University Orthopedics Sports Medicine Surgeon Paul Fadale told 12 Sports’ Taylor Begley. “But an Achilles tendon tear is a devastating injury. About a third of athletes who suffer one never return to their sport.”
In addition to the severity of the injury, Rodgers will also have to battle Father Time. Just a few months shy of 40 years old, the healing process is slower, Dr. Fadale said.
Fadale said once Rodgers undergoes surgery, therapy will begin immediately and recovery will take several stages. For high-level athletes, the recovery process can be anywhere from nine months to a year.
Rodgers’ injury has reignited the debate about whether artificial turf is dangerous for athletes. Dr. Fadale said after reviewing video of the play that resulted in Rodgers’ injury, he doesn’t think the playing surface played a role in this particular case. However, he did say there’s often a greater risk of knee and ankle injuries on artificial turf. Because the grip is so good, the foot doesn’t slide, leading to more tears.
“I prefer grass. It’s nice and soft,” Fadale said, recognizing replacing artificial turf is probably cost-prohibitive.
Paul Fadale, MD is a board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Fadale specializes in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine. Dr. Fadale is currently a professor at Brown University teaching medical students, orthopedic surgical residents, and fellows in the field of sports medicine. He has worked with numerous athletic programs and is the current Head Team Physician for Brown University Athletics and Recreation and the Providence Bruins professional hockey team.