This season, there are two very worthy candidates for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Dec. 24 against the Washington Redskins, leads the league in rushing (1,600) and has scored 10 touchdowns. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who sat out last season after undergoing neck surgery, ranks second in the NFL in completion percentage (68.3) and touchdowns (30).
The Ravens’ Ray Rice has a certain affinity for his peers, especially those who plays the same position as he does. But at the risk of angering a fellow running back, Rice said if he had to vote for either Peterson or Manning, he would vote for the latter.
“Don’t hold it against me, Adrian Peterson, but I have to say Peyton Manning,” Rice said prior to Wednesday’s practice. “I have to say it. I’ve never seen a guy come back after an ACL like that. In my history of playing football, I’ve never seen a guy come back that fast off of an ACL. I know he’s a beast, but … you are talking about something about [Manning’s] neck. When you hear about neck injuries, you usually hear about someone being done for their career. No matter what it was, the guy had surgery, lost all his strength in his arm, had to gain it back. He had to even get comfortable back there taking a snap. To see him come back and lighting it up the way he is, [Manning gets] my vote in the Comeback Player of the Year [award].”