Template:Infobox sports award The Associated Press NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented annually by the Associated Press (AP) to a player in the National Football League (NFL). While the criteria for the award is imprecise,[1] it is typically given to a player who has overcome adversity from the previous season—such as an injury or poor performance—and performed at a high level.[2] The winner is selected by a nationwide panel of media personnel.[3] Since 2011, the award has been presented at the NFL Honors ceremony held the day before the Super Bowl. In 2017 the award was presented by McDonald's.[4]

The AP first recognized an NFL comeback player of the year from 1963 to 1966, but these players are typically not included in overall lists of winners.[5] The AP did not give the award again until the 1998 season. The only player to be recognized multiple times is quarterback Chad Pennington, who received the award in 2006 with the New York Jets and again in 2008 with the Miami Dolphins.



Season Player Position Team Ref
1963 Martin, JimJim Martin Placekicker Baltimore Colts [6]
1964 Moore, LennyLenny Moore Halfback Baltimore Colts [7]
1965 Brodie, JohnJohn Brodie Quarterback San Francisco 49ers [8]
1966 Bass, DickDick Bass Fullback Los Angeles Rams [9]


Season Player Position Team Ref
1998 Flutie, DougDoug Flutie Quarterback Buffalo Bills [10]
1999 Young, BryantBryant Young Defensive tackle San Francisco 49ers [11]
2000 Johnson, JoeJoe Johnson Defensive end New Orleans Saints [12]
2001 Hearst, GarrisonGarrison Hearst Running back San Francisco 49ers [13]
2002 Maddox, TommyTommy Maddox Quarterback Pittsburgh Steelers [14]
2003 Kitna, JonJon Kitna Quarterback Cincinnati Bengals [15]
2004 Brees, DrewDrew Brees Quarterback San Diego Chargers [16]
2005 Smith, SteveSteve Smith
Bruschi, TedyTedy Bruschi
Wide receiver
Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots
2006 Pennington, ChadChad Pennington Quarterback New York Jets [18]
2007 Ellis, GregGreg Ellis Defensive end Dallas Cowboys [19]
2008 Pennington, ChadChad Pennington (2) Quarterback Miami Dolphins [20]
2009 Brady, TomTom Brady Quarterback New England Patriots [21]
2010 Vick, MichaelMichael Vick Quarterback Philadelphia Eagles [22]
2011 Stafford, MatthewMatthew Stafford Quarterback Detroit Lions [23]
2012 Manning, PeytonPeyton Manning Quarterback Denver Broncos [24]
2013 Rivers, PhilipPhilip Rivers Quarterback San Diego Chargers [25]
2014 Gronkowski, RobRob Gronkowski Tight end New England Patriots [26]
2015 Berry, EricEric Berry Safety Kansas City Chiefs [27]
2016 Nelson, JordyJordy Nelson Wide receiver Green Bay Packers [28]
2017 Allen, KeenanKeenan Allen Wide receiver Los Angeles Chargers [29]
2018 Luck, AndrewAndrew Luck Quarterback Indianapolis Colts [30]

See alsoEdit


  1. Burke, Chris (November 7, 2016). "Why Melvin Gordon deserves to win NFL's Comeback Player of the Year award". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 20, 2017. "This is a good spot for a reminder that the Comeback Player of the Year criteria is, well, not exactly precise."
  2. "NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award". Football Almanac. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  3. "NFL Comeback Player of the Year". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Associated Press. February 1, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  4. "2017 'NFL Honors' list of award winners". February 4, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
  5. Lee, Brenden; Gellerman, Jacob; King, Robert, eds. (2015). 2015 Official NFL Record and Fact Book. National Football League. p. 527. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  6. Bowen, George (December 14, 1963). "Jim Martin Comeback Player Of Year in National Grid Loop". The Montana Standard and The Butte Daily Post. Associated Press: p. 8. Retrieved March 11, 2017.
  7. "Lenny Moore Comeback Of Year In NFL". The Evening Standard. Associated Press: p. 12. December 12, 1964. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  8. Stevenson, Jack (December 24, 1965). "49ers' John Brodie Voted Comeback Player of Year". The Salem News. Associated Press: p. 13. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  9. Jack Hand (December 16, 1966). "Bass Is NFL Comeback Player of Year in '66". The Marshfield (WI) News-Herald. Associated Press: p. 9. Retrieved May 3, 2017.
  10. "Flutie wins inaugural comeback player honor". The Baltimore Sun: p. 3D. January 8, 1999.,%201999&author=FROM%20WIRE%20REPORTS&pub=The%20Sun&edition=&startpage=&desc=Flutie%20wins%20inaugural%20comeback%20player%20honor;%20Bills%20standout%20beats%20out%20Cunningham,%20Testaverde;%20Chargers%20name%20Riley%20coach;%20NFL%20notes. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  11. "Bryant Young is Comeback Player of Year". Chicago Tribune. Associated Press: p. 9. January 7, 2000.,%202000&author=Associated%20Press&pub=Chicago%20Tribune&edition=&startpage=&desc=BRYANT%20YOUNG%20IS%20COMEBACK%20PLAYER%20OF%20YEAR. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  12. "Joe Johnson wins NFL's comeback honor". The Index-Journal: p. 15. December 29, 2000. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  13. Georgatos, Dennis (January 11, 2002). "Garrison Hearst wins Comeback Player of the Year award". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  14. Robinson, Alan (January 3, 2003). "Steelers' Tommy Maddox is NFL Comeback Player of Year". Tyrone Daily Herald. Associated Press: p. 5. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  15. Wilner, Barry (January 2, 2004). "Kitna edges Carter, Brown for AP Comeback Player honor". USA Today. Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  16. "Chargers' Brees voted NFL Comeback Player of Year". Santa Cruz Sentinel: p. 36. January 7, 2005. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  17. Curran, Tom E. (January 6, 2006). "Pats' Bruschi shares Comeback Player award". The Providence Journal. Archived from the original on June 4, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  18. Wilner, Barry (January 4, 2007). "Comeback honors go to Pennington". Indiana Gazette. Associated Press: p. 14. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  19. "Cowboys LB Ellis comeback player of the year". The Denver Post. January 12, 2008. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  20. Holder, Stephen F. (December 31, 2008). "Miami Dolphins QB Chad Pennington truly is comeback player of the year". St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  21. "Tom Brady Wins AP Comeback Player Award". Associated Press. CBS News. January 6, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  22. "Michael Vick wins Comeback POY". ESPN. February 5, 2011. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  23. "Lions QB Stafford wins Comeback Player of Year". Associated Press. Fox News. February 4, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  24. Klis, Mike (February 2, 2013). "Broncos' Peyton Manning wins NFL award as comeback player of the year". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  25. Mello, Igor (February 1, 2014). "Philip Rivers wins Comeback Player of the Year award". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  26. "Gronk's garland: Patriots TE Gronkowski wins comeback player". USA Today. Associated Press. January 31, 2015. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  27. Brinson, Will (February 7, 2016). "Eric Berry wins Comeback Player of the Year, delivers emotional speech". CBS Sports. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  28. Cohen, Michael (February 4, 2017). "Jordy Nelson named NFL's Comeback Player of the Year". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  29. "Rams win Coach of the Year, player awards; Saints take rookie honors". February 4, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  30. "Andrew Luck named AP Comeback Player of the Year". February 2, 2019. Retrieved February 2, 2019.

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