Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer, Tyrann Mathieu listed among NFL.com’s Comeback Player of the Year candidates
Don’t call it a comeback.
Or, actually, do.
According to NFL.com writer Chris Wesseling, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer and defensive back Tyrann Mathieu could have big comeback years in 2015.
Wesseling listed Palmer second in his list of the “Top Comeback Player of the Year candidates for 2015,” ranking just behind Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
The recent history of quarterbacks returning from ACL injuries doesn’t bode well for Palmer’s chances, but he has already exceeded expectations in his speedy recovery. His surrounding talent is significantly better than conventional wisdom suggests, with a suddenly stout offensive line and a wide receiver corps featuring breakout candidate John Brown. Palmer is 13-2 with a 27:12 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his last 15 starts in Bruce Arians’ offense.
Palmer was 6-0 in starts for Arizona last season, throwing for 1,626 yards and 11 touchdowns with three interceptions before tearing his ACL against the St. Louis Rams.
Arians said Palmer looked “outstanding” in his first 11-on-11 action during mini-camp.
Another Cardinals star on the comeback trail could be Mathieu, who Wesseling put seventh on his list.
“Honey Badger” played 13 games in his return from reconstructive knee surgery, but clearly wasn’t himself in a limited role. The Cardinals believe he has finally recaptured pre-injury form this offseason, which will allow him to channel the playmaking ability he flashed while making a run at Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2013.
As for Mathieu, the defensive back has had an impressive offseason, with Arians saying he looks more and more like he did as a rookie.
The 5-foot-9 defensive back worked his way back into the lineup in 2014 after suffering a torn ACL in 2013, picking up 37 tackles (35 solo) and an interception.
As a rookie, he had 68 tackles (65 solo) with a sack and a forced fumble with two interceptions in 2013 before suffering the injury.
Palmer and Mathieu are among the several Cardinals looking to come back for the injury-riddled team that won 11 games and made the playoffs in 2014.