Husker legend Johnny Rodgers sets end of week goal to beat COVID

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 10:53 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 6, 2021 at 11:10 AM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - One of Nebraska’s most famous former football players, Johnny “The Jet” Rodgers, has been recently hospitalized for battling COVID-19.

But he set himself a new goal — to be out of the hospital by the end of the week.

After a 10-day battle, Rodgers said he’s now “feeling much better.” Monday was his 11th day at Nebraska Medicine recovering from COVID and pneumonia, which doctors discovered on his arrival.

“The Jet” first tested positive for the virus a week before Thanksgiving and eventually went into the hospital Thanksgiving morning.

But as of Monday morning, long-time business partner Denny Drake says Rodgers called him from the intensive care unit to say he “feels twice as good as he did yesterday.”

Quite a turnaround for Rodgers who said he had no energy less than a week ago.

Rodgers, who won the Heisman Trophy for being College Football’s Most Outstanding Player in 1972, said he’s working as hard as he can to get over the virus and out of the hospital by the end of the week.

He wants to be able to witness an event he’s never missed — the Heisman Trophy ceremony. The winner of this year’s award will be announced Saturday night in New York City.

The 70-year-old Husker legend also says that besides being there for the ceremony, he wants to be active again.

Before he got sick, Rodgers said he was still beating 20-something-year-olds at racquetball.

The Jet’s competitive streak hasn’t missed a beat.

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