Joe Flacco’s Win May Be Sam Darnold’s Loss

Theory Even Linked
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At the end of each season, the National Football League awards various achievements. Sam Darnold may have been in line for the consideration of Comeback Player of the Year, but Joe Flacco’s victory all but thwarted that.

Joe Flacco’s Win May Be Sam Darnold’s Loss

Last season, Joe Flacco returned to the league after taking time off. He had been unemployed as his performance declined with age, but the Cleveland Browns came calling, and he picked up. Flacco performed at a very high level for Cleveland, ultimately bringing them to the playoffs.

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What he was coming back from, though, is the same thing that Darnold would be overcoming. Having previously performed badly at other stops, the pair of quarterbacks’ only adversity has been a direct result of their own doing. That isn’t something the Associated Press wants to reward anymore.

In June, they issued new guidelines that read as follows:

The spirit of the AP Comeback Player of the Year award is to honor a player who has demonstrated resilience by overcoming illness, physical injury, or other circumstances that led him to miss playing time the previous season. The decision to provide this guidance was made last December but could not be implemented for the 2023 awards because the season was almost completed.

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For Darnold, that means he will not be under consideration for the award regardless of how he performs. If things go well, and he can elevate his game in the best situation he has ever experienced, then he will be angling for an Offensive Player of the Year nod. His odds are substantial there, and that would be quite the shock. However, Darnold, in this type of situation, is largely unknown.

The Vikings are pleased with what they have seen, and if Darnold works, the organization will look extremely intelligent.

The Joe Flacco
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Of course, if Darnold works, then J.J. McCarthy won’t have a chance to compete for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.