The Comeback Player of the Year (CPOY) award is one that also involves a lot of pride. We all want to see the players healthy through a 17-game season, but we know that’s not always possible considering how football is a brutal sport that sometimes has its price.
Being the Comeback Player of the Year proves that you went through some difficulties the previous season, whether that’s an injury, an illness, or even some just very bad play, but recovered swiftly and played at a high level the following year. For example, last year’s winner was Joe Burrow, who became one of the NFL’s best quarterbacks after suffering a horrendous injury in 2020.
Check out the top three contenders for the CPOY award in 2022:
#1 – Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints
Winston had a tough job taking over from Drew Brees last year, and he did just fine, taking the Saints to a 5-2 record before going down for the season with an ACL injury. He signed a contract extension and he’s set to have a better year, as he’s got new weapons in Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry, plus the return of superstar wide receiver Michael Thomas. He’s the early favorite, even with Sean Payton gone from New Orleans.
#2 – Derrick Henry, Tennessee Titans
The odds’ favorite is Henry, who suffered a foot injury during last season and missed two months, absolutely slowing his progress as he was being discussed as the NFL’s most lethal offensive player, even leaving people to wonder whether he would be able to get back-to-back 2,000 rushing yards in a season, a feat made by no one. Now that he’s fully recovered, he also has a pretty good shot of getting the award.
#3 – Christian McCaffrey, Carolina Panthers
This one’s a little bit more difficult to bet on, even though the odds say he’s the third favorite. McCaffrey needs to return to his best, as he’s been struggling with his health following a four-year contract extension he signed two years ago. He appeared to be in his best shape in 2021 before he got hurt again; this is the expectation for 2022 as well, but we hope he’s not going to miss games anymore.