Dec 8, 2019; Glendale, AZ, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Comeback Player of the Year Odds

Last season’s major slump or horrible injury can be this season’s big rebound, making NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award futures odds an annual rite of betting passage.

Last year’s award went to Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who parlayed a comeback season into a huge contract. He claimed the award after taking over the starting QB job in Tennessee last year and leading the Titans to the playoffs. Tannehill was the second straight QB to win the award following Andrew Luck in 2018 and the fourth QB to win it in the last eight years.

The co-favorites on the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award futures at SugarLand are both quarterbacks: Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger and Washington’s Alex Smith.

Roethlisberger or Smith?

Roethlisberger is coming off a lost season in which he played only two games after suffering an elbow injury that required surgery. If Roethlisberger can put up his usual numbers and lead the Steelers back to the playoffs, he could be a shoo-in for the award.

Smith hasn’t seen an NFL field since 2018. Near the end of the NFL season, he suffered a gruesome fracture that nearly killed him. It was a miracle that he didn’t lose the leg. Smith’s comeback story has player of the year written all over it if he can perform well enough on the field to back it up.

Following Roethlisberger and Smith on the comeback player odds list at SugarLand are two more quarterbacks: New England Patriot Cam Newton at +400 and Detroit Lions Matt Stafford at +800.

Newton’s 2019 season with the Carolina Panthers was cut short as he appeared in only two games due to a Lisfranc fracture. He has plenty of pressure on him in New England taking over for Tom Brady. However, if he can pull it off and New England remains a dominant force, it could lead to comeback player honors.

Stafford also missed a good portion of 2019 due to injury. A fracture in his back limited him to only eight games. One thing to remember about Stafford, is that he basically carries the Lions’ offense. Maybe that’s how he broke his back. If Detroit has any success this season, he’ll likely get the credit which could lift his award chances.

The first non-quarterback to show up on the odds list is Houston Texans’ defensive end J.J. Watt at +1000. Watt appeared in only eight games last season due to a torn pectoral muscle. Watt has been plagued by injuries and has only played in 32 games in the last four seasons. If he can regain his old form – and that’s a big if – he could be a popular choice.

There’s one player on the odds list that already has a NFL Comeback Player of the Year award on his mantle. Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Rob Gronkowski at +1100. He won the award in 2014. He has another shot after returning from retirement to join Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.

A few other notable names on the odds list that could be worth taking a flyer on include A.J. Green (+2000), Nick Foles (+2500) and David Johnson (+3000).