“My Comeback Wasn’t Something That A Trophy Can Define” – Damar Hamlin On Not Winning NFL Comeback Player Of The Year

Damar Hamlin

Damar Hamlin, the Buffalo Bills defensive back who suffered a cardiac arrest on a football field in January of 2023, has one of the greatest comebacks the sports world has ever seen.

I’d say it was without a doubt the best comeback of all time (he died, came back to life, and played football the next season), but I unfortunately can’t make that claim. That’s because Damar Hamlin lost out to Joe Flacco for the NFL’s “Comeback Player of the Year” award.

Joe Flacco was certainly deserving of winning the award. He went from sitting at home to saving the Cleveland Browns’ season, so it was definitely an honorable comeback.

But… he didn’t die and comeback to life like Hamlin. That seems to me like a lock for winning a “Comeback Player of the Year” award, even though Damar Hamlin only played in five games during the 2023-2024 season. Of course, there is a stark contrast on the severity of what they came back from, and Damar wins that part of the equation, no questions asked. But it’s hard to argue that Hamlin had the bigger impact on his team… he barely played.

Even Damar Hamlin thought he was going to (and was deserving) to win the award, as he talked about on the Maggie and Perloff Show:

“I did (think I would win) at first, I ain’t gonna lie, I did a little bit. Just because I’m a competitor myself. In any competition you put me in, I would win. But you know, I clapped for Joe when he went on stage and I clapped for him as he went off.”

There was clearly some animosity from Damar Hamlin, though he made sure to not discredit Joe Flacco winning the award as he continued:

“At this point in my life, it’s truly God’s plan. God had a reason for him (Flacco) getting that trophy. God had a reason for his journey. I don’t want to discredit that.

I truly feel that my journey, my comeback, per se, it wasn’t a worldy thing. It wasn’t something that a trophy can define. God gave me his trophy of still waking up every day. Still living, still breathing.

I would be crazy to be upset about a one foot trophy. I don’t want to discredit it at all because I did want to win.”

If Damar Hamlin wants to lock in the 2024-2025 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, maybe he can try sitting on the couch for most of the season and then coming back for the last couple weeks to play impactful football like Flacco did.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock