2020 is set up to be a very promising year for Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. He’s fully healed from his broken back. He’s returning with an offensive coordinator that had him on pace for career highs in yards per attempt, passer rating and passing yards per game last year.
He also may finally have a running game, as the Lions invested at the guard position in the draft and added second-round pick D’Andre Swift to the backfield. He has all his 2019 receivers returning this year, including the NFL’s receiving touchdown leader from last season and last year’s first-round pick.
So it should come as little surprise that Stafford is among the favorites to come away with the 2020 Comeback Player of the Year Award.
The favorites to win the award (per William Hill Race & Sports Book), which is typically given to either a player who is returning from an injury or someone who had a tremendous bounce-back season, are Rob Gronkowski (3-to-1), Ben Roethlisberger (7-to-2), J.J. Watt (6-to-1), Stafford (7-to-1) and A.J. Green (8-to-1).
Stafford is actually no stranger to this award. He won it back in 2011 after putting up over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns following a 2010 season that was cut short by 13 games due to a shoulder injury.
Expecting those kind of numbers again in 2020 may be asking a bit much of a 32-year-old Stafford, but the conditions are set up for the Lions quarterback to have himself quite the season this year. If he were to win it again, he’d become the third player in NFL history to do so. The other two were running back Garrison Hearst and quarterback Chad Pennington.*
The only thing that remains is for Stafford to take the field and stay on the field.
*Running back Paul Lowe also won the award twice before the AFL/NFL merger (1963, 1965)