clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Joe Flacco chill about award chances

Cleveland Browns QB downplays his Comeback Player of the Year nomination.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Cleveland Browns v Houston Texans Photo by Ryan Kang/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns and quarterback Joe Flacco were one of the most unlikely stories of the 2023 NFL season.

Running low on options after starting quarterback Deshaun Watson was lost for the season with a shoulder injury, the Browns pulled Flacco off his couch in New Jersey and into the starting lineup. After a rough start in his first game back, Flacco went on to reinvigorate the offense and help the Browns to four consecutive wins that earned the squad a playoff berth.

Even though he only played in six games in all, Flacco did enough to be named one of five finalists for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award, joining fellow quarterbacks Baker Mayfield of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Matthew Stafford of the Los Angeles Rams and Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Dolphins, and special teams player/safety Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills.

Hamlin has long been the favorite for the award after making it back following a cardiac arrest during a late-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2022 that left him hospitalized for nine days. He may have only played in five games and logged 111 total snaps this past season for the Bills, but Hamlin’s return to the field has been a remarkable story.

On Friday, Flacco made an appearance on CBS Sports Radio’s Zach Gelb Show and threw his support behind Hamlin for the award:

“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. 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 of months.

“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 (Damar’s) position, is pretty cool.”

Flacco is not the only Cleveland player up for a post-season award, as defensive end Myles Garrett (Defensive Player of the Year), head coach Kevin Stefanski (Coach of the Year), and defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz (Assistant Coach of the Year) are also finalists in their respective categories.

The award winners will be announced on February 8 at the 2024 NFL Honors program, which will air live at 9 p.m. on CBS and the NFL Network.