Through eight games of the 2021 season, Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry was flirting with another historic season.
He had 937 yards and 10 touchdowns, on pace (with the assist of a 17-game regular season) for more than 20 TDs and to become the first NFL player ever to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season.
There was just one problem: Henry had broken his foot in that eighth game and didn’t return until the Titans’ playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
That leaves him as the favorite for one of the NFL awards you can bet on at Caesars Sportsbook, official odds partner of Bet.NOLA.com. That’s the Comeback Player of the Year. It’s awarded each year by the Associated Press to a player who overcomes adversity either from not being able to play the previous season or from playing poorly the previous season.
Henry certainly fits the bill, and that’s why he’s the +375 chalk for Comeback Player of the Year.
The past four winners have all been quarterbacks, including Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals last season. Among the quarterbacks high on the odds list this year is the New York Giants’ Daniel Jones, who played in just 11 games last year because of injury and returns with a new coach and offensive coordinator. His odds are +1000.
After Winston comes what is perhaps a controversial choice: Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has +700 odds. Watson missed the 2021 season, too, not because of injury but because the Houston Texans held him out while he demanded a trade and faced allegations of sexual assault from dozens of women.
There’s other good options, too, including a couple of New Orleans Saints: Quarterback Jameis Winston, who missed the second half of last season with a severe knee injury, is second choice at +500; and wide receiver Michael Thomas, who led the NFL in receiving in 2019 but missed all of the 2021 season with an ankle injury, is tied for seventh choice at +1200.
The other top choices are more conventional comeback stories: Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (+900) missed most of the 2021 season with injury; Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield (+1000) struggled with performance and injury; and the others at +1200 — quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Marcus Mariota of the Atlanta Falcons — didn’t have starting opportunities.
Thomas is the top wide receiver on the list. The others under 20 to 1 are either quarterbacks, running backs or receivers except for Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young, who checks in at +2000.
Here’s a complete list of the odds for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award (50 to 1 and below):
(Odds from Caesars Sportsbook)
Derrick Henry, Titans RB +375
Jameis Winston, Saints QB +500
Deshaun Watson, Browns QB +700
Christian McCaffrey, Panthers RB +900
Baker Mayfield, Panthers QB +1000
Daniel Jones, Giants QB +1000
Mitchell Trubisky, Steelers QB +1200
Michael Thomas, Saints WR +1200
Marcus Mariota, Falcons QB +1200
J.K. Dobbins, Ravens RB +1600
Cam Akers, Rams RB +1800
DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals WR +2000
Chase Young, Commanders DE +2000
Chris Godwin, Buccaneers WR +2500
Drew Lock, Seahawks QB +2500
Travis Etienne, Jaguars RB +2500
Khalil Mack, Bears LB +2500
Allen Robinson, Rams WR +2500
Juju Smith-Schuster, Chiefs WR +2500
Tre’Davious White, Bills CB +3000
Odell Beckham Jr., free agent WR +3000
D.J. Chark, Jaguars WR +4000
J.J. Watt, Cardinals DE +4000
Danielle Hunter, Vikings LB +4000
Marcus Peters, Ravens CB +4000
Robert Woods, Titans WR +4000
Marlon Humphrey, Ravens CB +5000
James White, Patriots RB +5000
Raheem Mostert, Dolphins RB +5000
Jaycee Horn, Panthers CB +5000
Will Fuller, free agent WR +5000
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