NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 07: Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions looks on against the New Orleans Saints during their 2012 NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 7, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford was recognized at the 2012 ESPYS on Wednesday night as the winner of the award for Best Comeback Athlete. The Pittsburgh Penguins' Sidney Crosby, New York Mets' Johan Santana and tennis star Maria Sharapova were also nominated for the award.
Stafford won the award thanks to his stellar 2011 season. The first two years of his career were hampered by various injuries, including shoulder issues. Stafford bounced back last season by playing in every single game. He threw for 41 touchdowns and more than 5,000 yards and helped lead the Lions back to the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
During his acceptance speech, Stafford dedicated the award to the city of Detroit. He acknowledged that Detroit is "on a comeback of its own," which was a very classy move during a really good speech.
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is also up for an ESPY. He is vying for the Best NFL Player award, which will be handed out later in the night.