Joe Flacco once had a phenomenal career with the Baltimore Ravens. The quarterback started in each of his first 11 years with the Ravens. However, an unfortunate injury in 2018 brought him sudden misfortune. The signal-caller lost the job to then-rookie star Lamar Jackson and never got the position back.
However, Flacco got a second chance in the 2023 season when the Cleveland Browns signed him following the season-opening injury of Deshaun Watson. The QB has showcased phenomenal performance as a Browns starter and got nominated for the Comeback Player of the Year (CPOY) award. Despite this, he endorsed Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin for the accolade.
Joe Flacco explains why Damar Hamlin deserve to win CPOY
During a recent interview on the “Zach Gelb Show” on CBS Sports Radio, Joe Flacco expressed his belief that Damar Hamlin deserves to win the CPOY award. Despite his own explosive season, the Browns QB commended Hamlin’s mental fortitude in returning to a level where he feels comfortable on the field. He mentioned the significance of the mental aspect, especially in Hamlin’s position as a safety.
“I just think mentally to get yourself back to the point where you feel comfortable doing that kind of thing, obviously the physical part doesn’t need any explanation, but the mental part, especially at his position, is pretty cool”, Flacco said.
The finalists for the 2023 NFL CPOY award were announced on Thursday, featuring notable names like Baker Mayfield, Matthew Stafford, and Tua Tagovailoa. However, Flacco expressed uncertainty about what he and the other finalists were specifically coming back from.
“I don’t necessarily know what I’m coming back from. Most of the guys on that list, I don’t know what they’re coming back from. That’s probably my initial reaction.”
The QB was grateful to be among the finalists and acknowledged the honor of being recognized for his performance. He even humorously noted his own “comeback” from being old and not being on a team for a couple of months.
“Anytime you’re getting recognized in this league for playing well, it’s flattering. It’s a cool group to be a part of, that’s for sure. I’m just coming back from being old and not being on a team for a couple months.”
Flacco threw for 1,616 yards along with 13 touchdowns in his six starts. The signal-caller led the Browns into the playoffs, although they succumbed to the Houston Texans in the AFC wild-card round. However, the team wants him back in the upcoming season, and GM Andrew Berry was vocal about this take.
Damar Hamlin wins PFWA Comeback Player of the Year
Damar Hamlin’s triumphant return to the football field resulted in him being honored as the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) Comeback Player of the Year for 2023. He also stands as a finalist for the prestigious 2023 Associated Press (AP) Comeback Player of the Year award.
The horrible moment in the Bills star’s comeback narrative unfolded on January 2, 2023, during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The football world held its breath as he experienced cardiac arrest on the field. Emergency medical intervention revived the veteran, but the aftermath saw him hospitalized for nine days. Undeterred by this life-altering event, he faced a prolonged road to recovery.
April 2023 marked a turning point, as Damar Hamlin received medical clearance to resume playing again. Despite finding himself often inactive due to a well-stocked safety room, he made a return to the field in the match against the Miami Dolphins.
The safety showcased his tenacity in five regular-season games and both of the Bills’ postseason matchups. His defensive contributions included four tackles, and he allowed only one completion for six yards on a single target. The young star’s impact extended beyond defensive plays with his involvement in 94 snaps on special teams.