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NFL Lamar Jackson

Who’s Best Bet To Be 2022 NFL Comeback Player of the Year?

  • Justin Melo
  • May 10, 2022
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Everybody loves a good comeback story. Every year, one athlete that showcases the ability to overcome adversity by returning to the field in a productive manner is awarded with the NFL Comeback Player of the Year honor. 

The reigning champion is Cincinnati Bengals superstar quarterback Joe Burrow, who returned in 2021 from a haunting season-ending knee injury suffered in 2020 to lead the Bengals to an unpredictable appearance in Super Bowl LVI. Following up what Burrow achieved throughout his triumphant return will prove to be extremely difficult.

As we swiftly head toward a new race for this year’s comeback honors, several signal-callers that find themselves in new situations may be deemed worthy candidates. Matt Ryan and Carson Wentz possess unique opportunities in Indianapolis and Washington respectively. Former first-round busts Marcus Mariota and Mitchell Trubisky have resurfaced as starting quarterbacks in new destinations. The league has arguably never witnessed more movement among starting quarterbacks than the offseason we all just experienced, and that makes predicting the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year winner a difficult exercise.

With that said, the NFL futures prop betting landscape for the 2022 Comeback Player of the Year award is officially starting to take shape. BetOnline doesn’t waste any time, and they’ve already updated the exciting odds. The top 10 shakes out as follows:

  • Derrick Henry (+550)
  • Jameis Winston (+700)
  • Michael Thomas (+900)
  • Christian McCaffrey (+900)
  • Daniel Jones (12/1)
  • Lamar Jackson (12/1)
  • Deshaun Watson (12/1)
  • J.K. Dobbins (12/1)
  • Mitchell Trubisky (14/1)
  • Marcus Mariota (14/1)

The current landscape certainly qualifies as rather intriguing. The BetOnline oddsmakers are currently favoring returning-from-injury superstars such as Derrick Henry and Christian McCaffrey. Quarterbacks have predominantly secured this award historically, so it’s no surprise to see the top 10 is largely made up of signal-callers. We’ve compiled some thoughts below.


It qualifies as a bit peculiar to see Tennessee Titans superstar running back Derrick Henry listed as the favorite. The always reliable Henry typically wouldn’t qualify for such an honor, but a Week 8 Jones fracture suffered in a late-October victory over the Indianapolis Colts forced Henry to miss the remainder of the 2021 regular season. 

Prior to his injury, Henry was leading the league in carries, rushing yards, and rushing touchdowns, and was on pace to break the NFL rushing record. That foot ailment, unfortunately, robbed Henry of appropriately following up his historic 2,000-yard campaign, and the two-time rushing leader is undeniably preparing for a haunting return to the field.

It’s somewhat straightforward to understand why the oddsmakers are so high on Henry’s chances. He’s due to receive another sizable workload as Tennessee’s bellcow should he remain healthy. The Titans traded disgruntled wide receiver A.J. Brown to the Philadelphia Eagles earlier this offseason. Titans General Manager Jon Robinson also released Julio Jones. Tennessee’s offense will be a run-heavy unit that plans to center around a dominant Henry. 

It’s worth mentioning that quarterbacks have been awarded this honor in four consecutive seasons, and a running back hasn’t won this award since Garrison Heart in 2001. Should Henry even sniff the success he experienced in 2020, he’s an awesome bet to defy the natural odds stacked against him by capturing this award.


As previously mentioned, quarterbacks typically win this award on an annual basis and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is in store for a massive bounce-back campaign in 2022. The NFL’s Most Valuable Player in 2019, Jackson unfortunately suffered a season-ending ankle injury in a Week 14 loss to Baltimore’s divisional rival Cleveland Browns. Jackson was still named to his second Pro Bowl despite missing five contests. 

The dual-threat Jackson managed to account for 3,649 total yards of offense and 18 touchdowns in just 12 regular-season appearances. The Ravens struggled without Jackson at the helm down a crucial stretch, ultimately failing to qualify for the postseason. 

A two-time 1,000-yard rusher, Jackson and the Ravens are expected to remain true to their run-heavy identity in 2022. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman remains in place, and the Ravens have gotten weaker at the receiver position this offseason. Marquise “Hollywood” Brown allegedly requested a trade away from the franchise due to their run-first approach. Brown was traded to the pass-heavy Arizona Cardinals during the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. 

Baltimore’s roster features great depth across their offensive line, and general manager Eric DeCosta strengthened their tight end group by drafting Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely. A returning J.K. Dobbins also factors into the equation. The Ravens should contend for a playoff spot in 2022 despite playing in a loaded conference. A healthy Jackson will receive plenty of opportunities to put up some eye-popping numbers.


If you’re planning on avoiding the top-two favorites, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas presents an excellent alternative option. The last time Thomas consistently graced us with his presence on the field, the former Ohio State standout set the single-season receptions record with an astounding 149 catches in 2019. Thomas was correctly named NFL Offensive Player of the Year for his efforts. It qualified as an appropriate follow-up to a 2018 campaign that saw Thomas lead the league with 125 receptions. 

That two-year workload appeared to have a negative effect on Thomas’ long-term health and outlook. A lingering and recurring ankle injury limited Thomas to just seven regular-season appearances in 2020. Thomas later underwent surgery in July of 2021 and surprisingly failed to suit up for a single game after suffering a setback during his recovery process.

Thomas should return to full health after essentially spending the past 18 months on the sidelines. He’ll return to a new-look offense that features Jameis Winston as its permanent fixture under center. Winston is a capable quarterback that would enjoy peppering a healthy Thomas with targets. The drafting of fellow Ohio State alum Chris Olave will also work in Thomas’ favor. Olave features a differing skill set that should allow Thomas to thrive underneath the coverage. Olave’s big-play ability will keep opposing defenses honest. Thomas has rarely played professionally alongside a talented receiver such as Olave that can help him do the heavy lifting in New Orleans’ passing offense. Olave’s presence should help keep Thomas fresh while allowing him to take advantage of more one-on-one opportunities in the slot. Thomas could experience a comeback season for the ages in 2022.

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Justin Melo