Comeback POY: S Eric Berry, KC
Season Stats: 61 tkls, 10 pd, 2 ints
Another category in which there were several players who were deserving–Rob Gronkowski had another great year after suffering numerous injuries at the end of last season, Larry Fitzgerald enjoyed a resurgent year after having one of the worst statistical years of his career in 2014, and his quarterback also could have been considered for this award after the season he had this year, coming back from a torn ACL–but no player had a comeback quite like Eric Berry.
A three-time pro bowler, Berry spent his offseason enduring chemotherapy treatments as he battled Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He was diagnosed with the disease on Dec. 9 after he felt a pain in his chest in a game against the Oakland Raiders.
Berry began his chemotherapy and radiation treatments shortly after and finished in May. He was declared cancer-free on June 22, and somehow after all of the chemo he had endured, he showed up to Chiefs camp one pound heavier than before.
This guy would literally take time out of his day–in between chemotherapy and radiation treatments–to eat and workout even though his body was rejecting everything he put inside it.
Berry said in an ESPN article this past summer, “There would be times when I would work out and I would end up just crying after the workout. First of all, I couldn’t believe that I made it through the workout but I couldn’t believe it was that hard.”
Berry beat the cancer and suited up Week 1. He played in every game that followed except this past week, and was voted into the Pro Bowl for the fourth time. He is without a doubt, the comeback player of the year.
Runner Up: QB Carson Palmer, ARI