Comeback Player of Year award changes opens door for new Falcons QB

After the update of the NFL's 'Comeback Player of the Year' award, the Falcons have the leading candidate.
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout
Atlanta Falcons OTA Offseason Workout / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Comeback Player of the Year has always been a weird award in the NFL, especially in recent times. What constitutes a player being considered for the award? Clearly, injury and coming back from medical issues are the most obvious situations but other situations have crept into the fold.

Last year, Joe Flacco won Comeback Player of the Year for coming off his couch. Not exactly the most inspiring event. The winner before him was Geno Smith, who came back from being a backup.

This prompted the National Football League to rehone in on who should be considered. Now, they will focus on anyone returning from injury or a significant event in their life.

"The spirit of the AP Comeback Player of the Year award is to honor a player who has demonstrated resilience in the face of adversity by overcoming illness, physical injury or other circumstances that led him to miss playing time the previous season. The decision to provide this guidance was made last December but could not be implemented for the 2023 awards because the season was almost completed."

Rob Maadi, AP Senior NFL Writer

While it might not seem like a significant storyline for the Falcons, it is as it gives their new star a strong chance at winning the award.

Kirk Cousins benefits from updates of 'Comeback Player of the Year' award

New Atlanta Falcons quarterback Kirk Cousins is coming off a brutal injury that derailed his phenomenal start to his season. The Vikings were rolling on offense until their starter tore his Achilles halfway through the season.

Now, the veteran is looking to get back to full health and help a team that must break their long playoff drought.

When you combine the expectations and situation Cousins is in, you find the favorite for the big award. With the changes to the rules, he will no longer have to compete with those random players.

However, after a season that saw so many injuries, this award is far from Cousins' grasp. He will have to stave off guys like Aaron Rodgers, Joe Burrow (2021's winner), Nick Chubb, and Trevon Diggs.

Nevertheless, the talent around the new Falcons quarterback gives him a straight path to taking home the honors in February.

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