Four plays into the National Football League season for the New York Jets, star quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered a tear of his left Achilles tendon, which usually equates to a season-ending injury. Rodgers, however, seems to be trying to make it back to the field this season and took a step towards that progress on Sunday afternoon when he emerged to have a catch with a football coach at MetLife Stadium. Although the 40-year-old quarterback was wearing a boot on his left foot, he was able to hurl the football in the air and seemed comfortable on the surface.
Rodgers, who is paid for his weekly appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, has expressed that he is recovering from his injury with unique rehabilitation methods after undergoing a “speed bridge” procedure to repair the tendon. During one of his first appearances following the injury, Rodgers conveyed that anything was possible in his rehab process, although the prospect of his return could dampen as quarterback Zach Wilson continues a stretch of improved play.
According to WFAN host Gregg Giannotti, Los Angeles Rams running back Cam Akers is the only player to ever return from an Achilles injury during the same season he sustained it. Even so, the rupture took place in July, and it took nearly six months for him to return to game shape and make it to the field.
Giannotti’s co-host, former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason, finds it hard to believe that Rodgers will eclipse this feat, but he does not rule anything out. The problem in all of this, Giannotti affirmed, lies in the Jets acquiescent approach towards Rodgers, especially since the organization did whatever was necessary to acquire him – including the hire of Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator and signing former Green Bay Packers receivers Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.
“In a situation like this, if he wants to prove everybody wrong and he wants to go out there and play but it’s not the right decision, what happens?,” Giannotti asked Monday morning on WFAN. “What happens? Does Woody Johnson tell him no? Who tells him no?”
Rodgers reportedly plans to regularly travel with the team following the Week 7 bye next week, which opens with a crosstown rivalry matchup against the New York Giants. If a request to return to the field near the end of the season is denied, Giannotti has no doubt that it would quickly become public knowledge because of his media intrigue and presence.
“Even if they think it’s the worst idea in the world, he’ll go out there,” Giannotti said. “[He’ll say], I want to do it. I’ll stand back there; I’ll get rid of the ball quick. I’m fine; I feel great; I feel 100%. He’ll be on McAfee – oh I just can’t wait for this. If the Jets do tell him, ‘No,’ then he’ll be on McAfee bitching about how, ‘I’m fine. I don’t know what they’re worried about. I figured I’d come back and we’d be in the playoffs.’”
The media attention a potential return of Rodgers could garner would likely be significant, which is accentuated by his Tuesday interviews with The Pat McAfee Show on ESPN. The Jets are scheduled to appear on four more prime time games this year, including a Week 9 Monday Night Football showdown with the Los Angeles Chargers and Week 10 Sunday Night Football tilt with the Las Vegas Raiders. “Gang Green” will also usher in the inaugural NFL Black Friday game (Friday, Nov. 24) when the team faces the Miami Dolphins on Amazon Prime Video at 3 p.m. EST.
McAfee and his eponymous digital program attained an average viewership of 1.4 million people per episode, accumulating a total of 242 million total views over the first month. ESPN licensed 235 episodes of his program in a multi-year, multimillion dollar deal as part of a new daytime programming lineup, which includes the addition to Shannon Sharpe to First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim. Concurrent with the television lineup, ESPN Radio unveiled new national programs; however, McAfee’s program is not part of that rotation, instead remaining on television and digital platforms.
“The whispers are happening,” Giannotti said, who noted that he is averse to Rodgers returning this season due to his age and the risk of re-injury. “It’s out there; it’s out there!”
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.