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Tua Tagovailoa, Damar Hamlin snubbed from AP Comeback Player of the Year award at NFL Honors

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was nominated for the Comeback Player of the Year award after concussions sidelined him throughout the 2022 season.

2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa spent the end of the 2022 season on the sidelines, dealing with the effects of multiple concussions sustained during the season. He admitted the injuries led to him contemplating retirement during the offseason, worried about what the injuries had already done to him and what they could do if he sustained any more head injuries.

In a normal year, Tagovailoa would be considered a lock for the AP Comeback Player of the Year award. However, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin literally died on the field, only to be revived and return to playing the next season. Despite playing only five games this year, along with both playoff games for Buffalo, Hamlin’s return from needing CPR on the field to making plays was clearly worthy of the award. Obviously, Hamlin was the choice for Comeback Player of the Year.

And yet, neither player won the award. Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco. As injuries mounted for the Browns during the season, they signed free agent Flacco to come out of retirement to take over as their starting quarterback. He started five games for Cleveland, steadying the ship with 1,616 passing yards, 13 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and a 90.2 passer rating as the Browns won four of his five starts and claimed a wild card playoff berth.

Tagovailoa started all 17 games for the Dolphins in 2023, his first time playing a complete season and earning his first Pro Bowl appearance. He finished the season with a league-high 4,624 yards along with 29 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and a 101.1 passer rating

Also nominated for the award were Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford.