NFL comeback player of the year, an award no one player wants to be up for because it means you previously had a streak of misfortune, but hey, at least you made it back to the top right. This award is given to the NFL player who has shown perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor performance. That's the best definition I could find to display who the award should go to, it shouldn't automatically go to the guy who overcame an ACL tear, was able to play 16 games even though his impact wasn't the same. I think there's a lot of misconception about this award, this award should go to the player that was once great, fell off due to an injury or just because he wasn't performing well anymore, and then returns to the great player he once was. That's where about 90% of the candidates for the award get eliminated, if you weren't great to begin with, you don't deserve to be up for the award. For example, last year the winner was an obvious choice, Eric Berry. Outstanding young safety, gets cancer, recovers, and comes back to play at an elite level, now that is what I'm talking about. That's someone that deserves the award. Anyways, here's my rankings for who should win NFL comeback player of the year.
Comeback Player of the Year: Jordy Nelson
Can't deny the greatness of Jordy Nelson, yes he has the greatest quarterback to ever walk the earth throwing to him, but Aaron Rodgers isn't the same quarterback without his favorite weapon. The numbers tell the whole story, in 2015 Aaron Rodgers numbers were way down from his career averages, I wonder why, maybe because his best receiver was out the duration of the season with a torn ACL. Not only is Nelson a great target for Aaron Rodgers, he also allows the other options to get more space to work with since he acquires so much attention. Nelson in 2014 put up remarkable numbers, 98 receptions, 1,519 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns. Well, a year removed from ACL surgery Jordy put up almost identical numbers, 97 receptions, 1,257 receiving yards, and 14 touchdowns. Now if that's not consistency, I don't know what is because this guy misses an entire year with one of the most brutal sport injuries, and then comes back to being the player he was before the injury. Insane totally insane. Jordy Nelson, fits the exact definition of the comeback player of the year.
Runner Up #1: DeMarco Murray
DeMarco Murray was one of the most sought after free agents in history when he hit the market in 2015. He had just won offensive player of the year for the Cowboys, rushing for 1,845 yards, and seemed to be the premiere running back in the NFL. He signed with Philadelphia in the offseason and was never heard of again, well at least for the entire 2015 season. Murray didn't get injured, he just didn't fit the scheme, which wasn't his fault, apparently no one fits the Chip Kelly scheme. Anyways, he rushed for underwhelming 702 yards, averaging 3.6 YPC, and had 7 total touchdowns. After the season he was dealt to the Titans for virtually nothing. This year with the Titans the offense flourished with Murray as the center piece, he rushed for 1,287 yards on 293 carries, averaging 4.4 YPC, and he had 12 total touchdowns. He looked like his former self, although he did have 100 more carries with Dallas in 2014, so the numbers may look a little skewed. If it weren't for Jordy this year I would've said without a doubt that DeMarco Murray deserves this award, unfortunately that's not the case.
Runner Up #2: Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck was the clear cut favorite to win the award before the season started and then the Colts ended up being a huge disappointment, so now he's kinda flying under the radar. When you think of Luck and his overall greatness, you have to take into account the pure dysfunction around him. Jim Irsay is the only NFL owner I'd say might actually be clinically insane, Chuck Pagano is yet to prove he can without Bruce Arians, and the GM hasn't been able to put any sort of offensive line, defense, or even offensive weapons around Luck. It's literally Luck against the world and he's still doing an above average job. If it wasn't for the fact that he couldn't win in a very weak AFC South I'd say he deserves it. The fact of the matter is when you're a quarterback the stats are nice and pretty, but no one cares about them if you aren't winning. I'm not saying that's fair, especially in Luck's situation, but that's just the way it works. Doesn't matter the talent around you, if you aren't winning as a quarterback in this league you aren't considered as great. For instance, Jay Cutler has all the talent in the world, should be a pro bowler every year with the god given talent he has, but he can't win, and he can't keep his shit poor attitude out of the way. Luckily, Luck doesn't have the attitude problem, but he does have the not winning problem. Luck is a great talent, but he'll never be respected until he starts consistently winning a division that's been the weakest in football for quite some time.