NFL: An Early Look at Five Comeback Player of the Year Candidates
Each year the NFL awards players for various achievements. One of the biggest awards is the Comeback Player of the Year. The league gives this award to a player who shows perseverance in overcoming adversity. It can be in the form of not being in the league the previous year, a severe injury, or simply a poor performance. If the said player then balls out the following season they could be a candidate for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. 2018 has some strong candidates. Here is a look at five of the top candidates for the Award.
Dalvin Cook – Minnesota Vikings
Cook is coming off a phenomenal rookie season. He was leading the Vikings in rushing with 354 yards at the time of his injury. Cook was also averaging close to 5 yards per carry. He was an integral part of the Vikings offense. Cook will look to join newcomer Kirk Cousins in leading the Vikings offense back to the NFC Playoffs and maybe a return trip to the NFC Championship Game.
J.J. Watt – Houston Texans
In just their fifth game last season J.J. Watt and the Houston Texans received devastating news. Watt suffered one of most horrific injuries of the 2017 season. On the first drive in a game against the Kansas City Chiefs, J.J. Watt fractured the tibial plateau in his left leg. Thus, ending his season. However, even with Watt out of the lineup, the Texans still had a very formidable defense for 2017.
Watt now looks to rejoin his linemates for 2018. Securing the Texans defense as one of the most dangerous in the league. Even if J.J. Watt has half as good of a season as he has previously had, he will make a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.
Ryan Tannehill – Miami Dolphins
Tannehill was lost early on in 2017 training camp when he went down with a non-contact injury. The result was a torn ACL. The injury also prompted the Dolphins to sign Jay Cutler out of the broadcast booth for one year.
Tannehill is now healthy and looking to regain the form that gave him his big contract. However, he has lost some firepower and will have to look at some newer faces on offense. His main crush, Jarvis Landry was traded to the Cleveland Browns. Although he still has veterans Kenny Stills and Devante Parker. Tannehill also welcomes a rookie TE duo in Durham Smythe and Mike Gesicki. Both plan on being heavily involved in the Dolphins scheme of 2018.
Deshaun Watson – Houston Texans
Watson was well on his way to being the NFL’s Rookie of the Year in 2017. However, he too suffered a non-contact injury in practice that resulted in tearing his ACL. The Texans struggled mightily with Watson out of the lineup. Their passing offense finished 21st in the league only averaging 205 yards per game.
Getting Watson back under center will mean millions for the Texans offense. They will have a legitimate two-way threat. OC and HC Bill O’Brien will be able to open up his offense once again. There will also be an increase in production from star WR DeAndre Hopkins.
Carson Wentz – Philadelphia Eagles
Wentz was the leading candidate for league MVP in 2017. Then on a TD run against the Los Angeles Rams in week 14, Wentz suffered a torn ACL ending his season. At the time, it also seems to end the Eagles wonderful season. However, Nick Foles came in a shocked the world.
Wentz will rejoin his team and also look to regain in 2017 form. However, is there a possibility he will be looking over his shoulder with every mistake? That remains to be seen.
These five and others will look to add their name to the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award. Just remember it all depends on the type season the players and their teams have.
Who do you think should be the 2018 Comeback Player of the Year? Leave a comment below.
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