Oct 20, 2013; Charlotte, NC, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) reacts in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Top Five NFL Comeback Player of the Year Possibilities

Philip Rivers beat out a strong field for NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2013.  Who can follow his lead for the 2014 season?

Sam Bradford – St. Louis Rams

There is no question that the success of the St. Louis Rams now focus squarely on the right arm of quarterback Sam Bradford.  The talent level for the team is sky high but as last year proved they remain handcuffed at the quarterback position.  Bradford was off to a good start last year, posting 1,687 yards and 14 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions through seven games.  Then, tragically, he tore his ACL.  Leading the Rams to the playoffs in the brutal NFC West coming off that injury would make him a runaway for the award.

Robert Griffin III – Washington Redskins

After snatching Rookie of the Year away from Andrew Luck in 2012, Robert Griffin III experienced a trying sophomore season in which he had to overcome an early return from a bad knew injury and then a 3-13 finish for his Washington Redskins.  Touchdown passes were down, interceptions were up and as a result his coaching staff was fired.  RGIII has a clean slate ahead of him under Jay Gruden with new weapons.  Showing growth as a passer and getting Washington back on track would certainly catch the attention of voters.

Maurice Jones-Drew – Oakland Raiders

An afterthought of a player at an afterthought of a position.  Maurice Jones-Drew was once the best running back in football.  Suddenly the three-time Pro Bowler was dumped from the only team he ever knew in Jacksonville and is trying to resurrect his career with the Oakland Raiders, his original hometown team.  At age 29 it’s hard to see him having much left.  However, recent additions to the offensive line coupled with a good chance to win the starting job over the often-injured Darren McFadden could give MJD one last shot at being the feature back in a run-oriented offense.  Considering what he’s been through, that is a great NFL comeback story.

Reggie Wayne – Indianapolis Colts

The career is winding down for All-Pro receiver Reggie Wayne.  After carrying the torch following the retirement of Marvin Harrison and ushering in the Andrew Luck era, Wayne endured a tough 2013 when he tore his ACL.  Expectations for the 35-year old are reserved.  Nobody expects him to return his dominant form, nor does he need to with the emergence of T.Y. Hilton and addition of other targets.  Still, don’t be surprised if the wily vet puts together one more run before deciding to hang up the spikes.

Geno Atkins – Cincinnati Bengals

After posting 12.5 sacks in 2012, expectations were high for defensive tackle Geno Atkins heading into last season for the Cincinnati Bengals.  Instead his year ended abruptly after nine games due to a knee injury.  At age 26 there is no reason to assume he can’t come back to his old self.  However, the loss of coordinator Mike Zimmer is the ultimate wild card.  If Atkins can overcome both hurdles to post another strong NFL campaign he could become the first defensive player to win the award in seven years.

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Tags: Cincinnati Bengals Indianapolis Colts NFL Oakland Raiders St. Louis Rams Washington Redskins

  • gdubb

    Matt Schaub should be on this list

    • Dan Huttner

      McFadden as well.

      • Erik Lambert

        Basically the entire Raiders roster.

      • allday

        McFadden really can’t “comeback”from somewhere he’s never been.Schaub or MJD fit the comeback player of the year mold..DMC does not.

  • Don Andrew Halvorson

    I hate the Redskins, but if RG3 gets a 0.500 record or better, he’s got it sewn up.

    • Erik Lambert

      After 3-13? I’d buy that.

      • Don Andrew Halvorson

        The media loves him for no reason. I don’t get it. He had an uninteresting Heisman campaign compared to Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, and Jameis Winston. No playoff win. ACL injury. Average numbers. DeSean Jackson should make a huge difference, but Washington gets a weird level of media favoritism.

        • Erik Lambert

          It’s all about the personality. For whatever reason they love it. Combine that with his physical gifts and they naturally build him up into something he isn’t. At least not yet.

          • David Dorman

            I think the hype is about him setting 2 rookie records in passer rating and rushing yds, he also had a 65.6% completion %. The fact that he only threw 5 ints, and lost only 2 fumbles while being responsible for scoring 27 total TDs is remarkable, no other rookie QB in his class came close. The offense was 1st in the NFL in rushing, yds per pass, and yds per play. Anyone who saw his rookie year can’t wait for him to be healthy and get back on the field.

          • Don Andrew Halvorson

            Does that include the fumble where his knee exploded in the playoffs?

          • David Dorman

            His knee was already injured and unlike most of the QBs in the NFL he unfortunately kept playing. I guess u are still sour from that 86 yd TD run he had on your team.

          • Don Andrew Halvorson

            Yes I am.

    • R.B.

      Hate the Vikings. Always will be a Horrible Football Team.

      • Don Andrew Halvorson

        At least our team isn’t named Indian negros.

        • R.B.

          Vikings Raided, Raped and Pillaged and Murdered Many People,including Men, Women and Children.

          Vikings were active in the slave trade.
          Many Vikings got rich off human trafficking. They would capture and enslave women and young men while pillaging Anglo-Saxon, Celtic and Slavic settlements. These “thralls,” as they were known, were then sold in giant slave markets across Europe and the Middle East.

        • R.B.

          Hate the Vikings.
          Rapest of Children.

          • Don Andrew Halvorson

            At least we have a prideful name

          • R.B.

            If you mean that you are Proud of Vikings
            Raided, Raped and Pillaged and Murdered
            Men,Women,and Children.You are Crazy.
            To be Proud of that.

          • Don Andrew Halvorson

            Direct descendant of Eric the Red, pride is what I have.

          • R.B.

            Your Both Delutional,and crazy.

          • Don Andrew Halvorson

            Like a Fox.

  • Ademi Smith


    • Erik Lambert

      Not a chance.

  • Christopher M Pridham

    How is Percy Harvin not mentioned here?

    • Erik Lambert

      Because he has a ring.

  • James Schroeder

    Matt Schaub will top everybody on this list. As far as Philip Rivers winning the comeback player of the year award. Somebody probably sat him down and told him to stop whining like a little bitch and throwing a tantrum every time things didnt go his way and he grew up in the off-season. Yeah Rivers is a good quarterback but he is also a crybaby. Plus, the charges would’ve never been in the postseason if the referees weren’t helping them out big time in that game against the Raiders in San Diego that the Raiders clearly should have won. I still think somebody paid off the refs. I’ve seen some bad calls in my time but these referees were either mentally
    retarded or playing with blinders on. Anyways, it will either be Matt Schaub or yes Maurice Jones Drew or Mcfadden IMO.

    • Erik Lambert

      Trust me, the Raiders have seen way worse controversial calls than what they saw last season. Schaub is a definite candidate for the award but I felt MJD would be a better story and more likely since the Raiders should be a ground and pound offense.