This year’s NFL Comeback Player of the Year is a no-brainer. At least according to one finalist — Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco.
Flacco, despite a resurgent season of his own, said during an appearance on the «Zach Gelb Show» on CBS Sports Radio on Friday that he believes Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin should win the award.
«For sure,» Flacco said. «I just think mentally to get yourself back to the point where you feel comfortable doing that kind of thing, obviously the physical part doesn’t need any explanation, but the mental part, especially at his position, is pretty cool.»
Hamlin had to be revived on the field last season after suffering cardiac arrest during a Monday night game against the Bengals. He was hospitalized for nine days following the incident.
Hamlin played in three games this season, including Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Flacco, meanwhile, didn’t have an offer to play this season until the Browns signed him in December. He threw for 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns in six starts, leading the Browns into the playoffs, where they lost 41-14 to the Houston Texans in the AFC wild-card round.
«I don’t necessarily know what I’m coming back from,» Flacco said. «Most of the guys on that list, I don’t know what they’re coming back from. That’s probably my initial reaction.»
The other finalists are Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield, Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford and Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Hamlin closed as a -400 favorite to win the award, according to ESPN BET, followed by Flacco (+320), Mayfield (+1100) and Stafford (+10000).
Flacco said he was grateful to be among the finalists.
«Anytime you’re getting recognized in this league for playing well it’s flattering. It’s a cool group to be a part of, that’s for sure,» he said.
«I’m just coming back from being old and not being on a team for a couple months.»