National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award
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National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award

The National Football League Comeback Player of the Year Award refers to a number of awards that are given to a National Football League (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.[1] The awards have been presented by several organizations, including the Associated Press (AP), Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers Association (PFW/PFWA), Sporting News, and United Press International (UPI).

AP Comeback Player of the Year award (1963-1966, 1998-present)

From 1963 to 1966, the award was given to both an NFL and AFL player. No award was given between 1966 and 1998.

PFW/PFWA Comeback Player of the Year award (1972-present)

From 1972 to 1991, the Comeback Player of the Year award was presented by Pro Football Weekly (PFW) only. PFW and the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA) combined their awards from 1992-2012.[2]

Season Player Team Position
1972 Earl Morrall Miami Dolphins Quarterback
1973 Roman Gabriel Philadelphia Eagles
1974 Joe Namath New York Jets
1975 Dave Hampton Atlanta Falcons Running back
1976 Greg Landry Detroit Lions Quarterback
1977 Craig Morton Denver Broncos
1978 John Riggins Washington Redskins Running back
1979 Larry Csonka Miami Dolphins Fullback
1980 Jim Plunkett Oakland Raiders Quarterback
1981 Ken Anderson Cincinnati Bengals
1982 Lyle Alzado Los Angeles Raiders Defensive end
1983 Billy Johnson Atlanta Falcons Wide receiver
1984 John Stallworth Pittsburgh Steelers
1985 No Award
1986 Joe Montana San Francisco 49ers Quarterback
Tommy Kramer Minnesota Vikings
1987 Charles White Los Angeles Rams Running back
1988 Greg Bell Los Angeles Rams
1989 Ottis Anderson New York Giants
1990 Barry Word Kansas City Chiefs
1991 Jim McMahon Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback
1992 Randall Cunningham
1993 Marcus Allen Kansas City Chiefs Running back
1994 Dan Marino Miami Dolphins Quarterback
1995 Jim Harbaugh Indianapolis Colts
Garrison Hearst Arizona Cardinals Running back
1996 Jerome Bettis Pittsburgh Steelers
1997 Robert Brooks Green Bay Packers Wide receiver
1998 Doug Flutie Buffalo Bills Quarterback
1999 Bryant Young San Francisco 49ers Defensive tackle
2000 Joe Johnson New Orleans Saints Defensive end
2001 Garrison Hearst (2) San Francisco 49ers Running back
2002 Tommy Maddox Pittsburgh Steelers Quarterback
2003 Jon Kitna Cincinnati Bengals
2004 Willis McGahee Buffalo Bills Running back
2005 Steve Smith Carolina Panthers Wide receiver
2006 Chad Pennington New York Jets Quarterback
2007 Randy Moss New England Patriots Wide receiver
2008 Chad Pennington (2) Miami Dolphins Quarterback
2009 Tom Brady New England Patriots
2010 Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles
2011 Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions
2012 Adrian Peterson Minnesota Vikings Running back
2013 Philip Rivers San Diego Chargers Quarterback
2014 Rob Gronkowski New England Patriots Tight end
2015 Eric Berry Kansas City Chiefs Safety
2016 Jordy Nelson Green Bay Packers Wide receiver
2017 Keenan Allen Los Angeles Chargers
2018 Andrew Luck Indianapolis Colts Quarterback
2019 Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans
2020 Alex Smith Washington Football Team

UPI Comeback Player of the Year award (1962-1969)

In 1962, United Press International (UPI) chose a comeback player for the first time. The winner, Frank Gifford, had made a comeback from a devastating injury from a hit by Chuck Bednarik. The following year, the Associated Press (AP) established a similar award. UPI discontinued the award after 1963, with the exception of 1969. The AP did not give out the award from 1967 to 1998, when the award was reinstituted and given to Doug Flutie.

  • 1962 Frank Gifford, WR, New York Giants[3]
  • 1963 Ed Brown, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers[4]
  • 1964-1968 No award given
  • 1969 Gale Sayers, RB, Chicago Bears

Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year award

References

General
  • "Comeback Player of the Year". Pro Football Writers of America. Retrieved 2014.
Specific
  1. ^ "NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award". Football Almanac. Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ "Comeback Player of the Year". Pro Football Writers Association. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ United Press International (1-04-1963).NFL Comeback-of-the-Year Award Voted to Frank Gifford of Giants Hartford Courant, Hartford CT. Retrieved 12-20-2009.
  4. ^ United Press International. (12-21-1963).Steelers' Brown Comeback Winner Lodi News-Sentinel. Retrieved 12-20-2009.
  5. ^ Sporting News. (January 15, 2009). SN's Comeback Player of the Year: Antonio Bryant Sporting News.com Retrieved 12-20-2009.
  6. ^ Sporting News. (January 14, 2010). Titans QB Vince Young voted Sporting News 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Sporting News.com Retrieved 12-20-2009.</
  7. ^ "SN 2010 NFL Comeback Player of the Year: Michael Vick". Sporting News. 12 January 2011. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ "Sporting News 2011 NFL awards: Plaxico Burress, Comeback Player of the Year". SportingNews.com. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ "Adrian Peterson voted Sporting News' Comeback Player of the Year". SportingNews.com. 22 January 2013. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ "Can't keep Darrelle Revis down; Bucs cornerback named Sporting News' Comeback Player of the Year". sportingnews.com. Retrieved 2014.
  11. ^ "Cardinals' Carson Palmer named Sporting News' Comeback Player of the Year".
  12. ^ "Packers' Jordy Nelson voted Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year for 2016".

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