Damar Hamlin had a blunt reaction to Joe Flacco winning Comeback Player of the Year

"My comeback wasn't something that a trophy can define."
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins
Buffalo Bills v Miami Dolphins / Perry Knotts/GettyImages

It was a surprise to everyone when Damar Hamlin wasn't named Comeback Player of the Year during the NFL Awards earlier this year. Hamlin was the odds-on favorite to win the award as soon as he stepped onto the field during the 2024 season, something that didn't seem likely for him after he went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Bengals in the 2023 season.

Hamlin miraculously returned to the Buffalo Bills for the 2024 season and played in five games. The preseason consensus opinion among fans and media members seemed to be that he'd be a shoo-in for Comeback Player of the Year as long as played at least one snap during the regular season

Alas, that is not what happened.

Joe Flacco ended up winning the award after stepping in at quarterback for the Cleveland Browns midway through the season after they had a slew of injuries at quarterback and helped lead them to the playoffs.

Hamlin recently spoke about not being crowned Comeback Player of the Year while appearing on theMaggie & Perloff show on Monday.

Hamlin speaks up about not winning Comeback Player of the Year

Hamlin was honest in saying that he was surprised not to win the award and notes that his comeback wasn't defined by any trophy he could have received. He's certainly right about that. No one expected Hamlin to ever play football again after what happened to him against the Bengals but he overcame the odds and was on the field not even a year later.

While Hamlin was deserving of the Comeback Player of the Year award, the NFL ultimately rewarded it to a guy who played more games and helped his team make it to the playoffs after a slew of injuries. Flacco did have a remarkable comeback after not signing with a team in the first half of the year and then joining the Browns midseason and doing what he did for them.

It's at least good that Hamlin has a positive attitude concerning all of this. Not winning the award should be — and, based on his response, seems to be — less important than the fact he's healthy and  able to make on-field contributions to the Bills.