This shouldn’t be the biggest surprise in the world, but right now, at least according to one betting website, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has the best odds of earning the Comeback Player of the Year Award for 2020.
It’s pretty much a given that any time a prominent quarterback misses a lot of one season, he is going to be among the favorites to win the Comeback Player of the Year Award. It’s too important of a position for it not to be right front and center in the discussion, and Roethlisberger missed 14.5 games in 2019 with the offense looking a shell of its former self without him.
At FanDuel, Roethlisberger is the favorite overall at +340 to win the award. Second is Cam Newton, another prominent quarterback who missed significant time last year, followed by J.J. Watt, historically the greatest defensive player of the past decade who, again, missed a large chunk of last season. He is followed by Nick Foles, A.J. Green, Matthew Stafford, Myles Garrett (seriously?), Andy Dalton, and C.J. Mosley, so as you can see, it’s mostly quarterbacks.
While Roethlisberger has missed games before, he had never missed more than four in any season up to 2019, when he succumbed to a progressive elbow injury by halftime of the Steelers’ second game of the season. He would quickly be placed on injured reserve and have surgery to repair the damage, though details of the surgery have not been disclosed.
Since his September surgery, the news has been consistently positive, with the biggest news coming in late February. The expectation at that time was that he would be able to begin some ‘light throwing’ with a tennis ball as part of his rehab, but his elbow was ready for more, doctors giving him clearance to throw a football.
Earlier this month, Roethlisberger said that he hopes that he will be able to shave his beard in a month or two. He said that he will not shave it until he is capable of throwing an NFL-quality pass. Right now, the measurement by which his progress is being judged is by the spin that he is able to put on the ball.
During the 2018 season, Roethlisberger had an exceptional year, throwing for 5129 yards and 34 touchdowns, both franchise records, while completing 67 percent of his passes and leading the league by averaging over 320 passing yards per game.
He only attempted 62 passes through a game and a half last year in losses to the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks to start the season, without throwing a touchdown. He recently acknowledged that he was already experiencing pain during this time.