Sports Betting

Sportsbooks need to adjust their odds after the NFL announced new criteria for Comeback Player of the Year

We publish independently audited information that meets our strong editorial guidelines. Be aware we may earn a commission if you purchase anything via links on our pages.
Aaron Rodgers Jets pic

Every season, the NFL hands out a Comeback Player of the Year award. It’s given to a player who’s overcome extreme adversity to get back on the field. Ahead of the 2023 season, Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills was the betting favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. In Week 17 of the 2022 season, Hamlin was in the game against the Bengals. He went to make a routine tackle against WR Tee Higgins and took a massive blow to the chest. Hamlin got up and took two steps before he collapsed on the ground and went into cardiac arrest. 

It was a scary moment for the league and Buffalo’s training staff acted quickly, saving Hamlin’s life. Fast-forward to the 2023 season and Hamlin was able to play in five games for the Bills less than a year removed from the incident. In most people’s eyes, Damar Hamlin was the runaway favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year. However, veteran QB Joe Flacco was called up by the Browns late in the season and helped the team to the postseason. His efforts were enough to win Comeback Player of the Year in 2023. Leaving many outraged that Hamlin did not win. With that, the league has announced new criteria for the award. They want to ensure a situation like this doesn’t happen again. 

The Associated Press votes for Comeback Player of the Year

According to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, “coming back from sucking” will not li ger meet the criteria to win Comeback Player of the Year. The Associated Press announced they want to honor a player who’s overcome illness, physical injury, or any other circumstance leading to missed playing time. Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin met the criteria for the award last season. However, Joe Flacco took home the award. With the new criteria in place, the NFL shouldn’t run into this kind of issue in the future. 

Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets is currently the betting favorite to win Comeback Player of the Year in 2024. His 2023 season ended prematurely after just four snaps, tearing his Achilles. Rodgers wasn’t able to return for the rest of the season. The 40-year-old QB is going to be fully healthy in 2024. New York has big expectations with a healthy Rodgers. Sportsbooks have him at (+125) to win the award.