Has Jordy Nelson bounced back after missing all of 2015 with a torn ACL.
Eighty-two catches, 1,037 yards and a league-leading 12 touchdown receptions with two games remaining.
Green Bay Packers fans might assume that makes Nelson a shoo-in for the NFL’s comeback player of the year award. It most certainly is a strong case, but Nelson will have some competition for that trophy.
He’ll get it from Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham.
Let’s break down their cases.
For me, Wake probably has the weakest case. Although he’s 34, he made the Pro Bowl this season and has posted 10.5 sacks through 14 games. That’s what got him in the all-star game.
Wake also has five forced fumbles and an interception.
His only underwhelming statistical area is tackles. Wake only has 25.
The reason I say Wake has the weakest case is because he did play seven games in 2015. In those seven games, he put up seven sacks and four forced fumbles.
Pretty simply, Wake isn’t really any different this year than he was last year.
Graham is in a similar position. He actually played in 11 games in 2015, finishing with 605 yards and two touchdowns. Even without finishing the season, that’s a nice year for a tight end (if not for Jimmy Graham).
This year, Graham has gone for 59 for 816 and five touches through 14 games. Those are definitely more Jimmy-Graham-like numbers.
But like Wake, Graham really isn’t any different this year than he was last year.
Probably Nelson’s biggest competitor is Bell, the only other guy in this discussion besides Wake who made the Pro Bowl.
Bell played in six games in 2015, running for 556 and three touchdowns. He also caught six for 136.
Not surprisingly for arguably the NFL’s best back, Bell has blown those numbers out of the water this year. He has 1,146 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns, plus 601 receiving yards and an additional touchdown.
That’s more than 1,700 yards in total offense.
Jordy can’t really touch that.
This vote really comes down to two guys and one thing.
Jordy Nelson vs. Le’Veon Bell and, as a voter, do you possibly give Jordy the nod because he didn’t play a single game in 2015, while Bell played six?
We can’t give you that answer, but we certainly wouldn’t be surprised if Le’Veon Bell won the award. I would have a hard time not voting for the guy, even if I were strictly a homer.
Wasn’t Bell suspended some games last year and this year? Bell’s numbers are very good for someone who I believe missed 3 games this year for suspension. The question is does the selection process take into account the self inflicted suspension(s)? If they do then Jordy may have a better chance than it may appear.
Bell started this season serving a suspension for 3 games. That disqualifies him. It should be Jordy, easily.