One of the best stories in the NFL this season was the performance of Joe Flacco down the stretch of the season. Signed by the Cleveland Browns in November, Flacco became the fourth different starting quarterback they turned to this year — and he exceeded expectations.
Flacco transformed the Cleveland offense as they became a force during his five starts. He led the league in that period with 1,616 yards and 13 touchdowns and had more than 300 yards — plus multiple touchdown passes — in his final four starts.
While he and the Browns were unable to advance in the postseason, his play was still very inspiring. The league agrees as they announced Flacco was one of the finalists for the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award. However, if you ask Flacco, he doesn't deserve the honor.
The 39-year-old was a guest on Zach Gelb's podcast and said it's "flattering" whenever your play gets recognized but added that he doesn't know what he's coming back from. In typical Flacco fashion, he was then self-deprecating, saying he returned from being too old to play.
"I'm just coming back from being old and not being on a team for a couple months." — Flacco said while speaking with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports.
Joe Flacco believes Damar Hamlin deserves the award
Flacco added that none of the players on the list deserve the honor as much as Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who suffered a cardiac arrest on the field in 2022. Flacco said that the number of snaps Hamlin played doesn't matter but what's impressive is the way he was able to mentally prepare himself to take the field after such an event.
The others nominated include Matthew Stafford and Tua Tagovailoa who each missed time due to injuries in 2022. The final nomination was Baker Mayfield, the Browns former No. 1 overall pick. Mayfield played for two teams in 2022 and rebounded this year with the Tampa Bay Bucs — even leading them to the Divisional Round of the playoffs.