The 2022 NFL Honors ceremonies have awarded their Comeback Player of the Year, and Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow has taken home the trophy. In a close race with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Burrow edged him out thanks to a franchise-record 34 passing touchdowns. Burrow also led the Bengals to the playoffs for the first time since 2015. Burrow was also named Comeback Player of the Year in Pro Football Network’s annual awards.
Joe Burrow Wins 2021 NFL Comeback Player of the Year
Both Prescott and Burrow suffered significant injuries last season. Burrow tore both his ACL and MCL in the middle of his rookie campaign. It was an injury that left many wondering what kind of long-term impact it would have on his mobility moving forward. However, as former NFL QB Carson Palmer said in a recent interview, Burrow has shown no signs of slowing down.
“I don’t think anybody predicted this before the season started, especially because of how bad they were last year and because Joe was coming off rehabbing his knee and wasn’t going to be 100%. But he’s shown no signs of wear and tear — he’s shown no signs of slowing down. It seems like every time he steps on the field, he gets a little bit better.”
Prescott was also worthy of the award
Meanwhile, in Week 5 of last season, Prescott went down with a compound fracture and dislocation of his right ankle. It was also a gruesome injury that required months of rehab.
Comparing the two injuries is difficult. What made predicting the NFL Comeback Player of the Year even tougher was the fact that both these QBs proved that their team is significantly better when they are under center.
Prescott took the Cowboys to the playoffs and won the NFC East with a 12-5 record in 2021. That was quite the contrast compared to the 6-10 season Dallas had in 2020. Prescott also broke the franchise record for the most touchdown passes (37) in a single season, and his eight games with a 100 passer rating and 3 passing scores led the NFL this year.
Burrow’s season was nothing short of amazing
Before his injury, Burrow was on pace to break several single-season and rookie passing records. In his return this year, he continued to show why he deserved to be the first overall pick.
Burrow led the league in completion percentage (70.4%) and yards per attempt (8.87) and finished second in passer rating (108.3) in his 16 starts this year. He completed 366 of 520 passes for 4,611 yards (sixth-best in the NFL) and 34 touchdowns.
The highlight of the regular season for Burrow was back on December 26. He set a franchise record with 525 passing yards (the fourth-highest total in NFL history) and tossed 4 TDs in a 41-21 home victory over the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens.