Every season, the NFL names its comeback player of the year to honor the efforts by a specific player to return from injury, or have a season that was not expected of them.
This season, there is one player who falls into both categories. Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson suffered from two knee injuries last season and wasn't expected to contribute as much with the rise of CJ Spiller.
After 1,283 all-purpose yards and 10 TDs, Jackson surpassed many expectations and could be honored at this year's Super Bowl as a result.
NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal named Jackson as his lead candidate for the award.
Here is what Rosenthal said:
"Jackson was ignored coming out of Coe College and wound up playing for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe before earning his first NFL snap in 2007 in Buffalo. He was 26 at the time. He’s been one of the league’s most underrated players ever since.Jackson was ignored again coming into 2013. He missed six games last season because of two knee injuries that limited his effectiveness. 32-year-old running backs coming off injury-plagued seasons are usually put out to pasture. Jackson wound up passing a top-ten pick on the depth chart.C.J. Spiller was expected to carry the load for the Bills, with Jackson described as a “step slow” in the preseason. One prominent fantasy football website said Jackson wouldn’t have “any fantasy impact” this year.1,277 yards from scrimmage and ten touchdowns later, Jackson authored his most surprising season yet. He wound up playing 663 snaps to Spiller’s 389 despite a seven-year age difference. The AP Comeback Player of the Year Award would be a fitting reward for a career spent out of the spotlight."
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