DeMarco Murray doesn't want comeback player award


DeMarco Murray is back on the NFL map in a big way in 2016 after a dreadful 2015, but the Tennessee Titans running back doesn't want his rejuvenation to be considered a comeback.

Murray won Offensive Player of the Year in 2014 as the NFL's leading rusher and carrying the Dallas Cowboys' offense to the playoffs on 329 carries. In 2015, a worn-down Murray was an ill-fit in Chip Kelly's stretch-run system. Murray cratered in Philadelphia, earning just 702 yards on 193 carries. In 2016, Murray has bounced back in a big way, sitting second in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,135 through 13 games. Murray also has 12 touchdowns (nine rushing).

The three-year loop has Murray in the thick of Comeback Player of the Year discussions. He'd rather not win the hardware.

"Hopefully, not to me; hopefully it's for somebody else," he said, via "I don't know, I don't know. We'll see, I guess."

Comeback Player of the Year generally goes to a player injured the previous season that returns for a Pro Bowl-caliber year. In 2015 Chiefs safety Eric Berry was the clear choice after overcoming cancer.

It's not always an injury-related award, however. In 2013, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers won for simply coming back from a bad season (15 interceptions, 49 sacks the previous year).

Murray could be the next player to earn the award for returning to relevance after a year scrubbing the floors.

Most notable players coming off injuries haven't performed well this season. The likes of Joe Flacco, Andrew Luck and Dez Bryant have struggled with consistency. 

Jordy Nelson -- 12 TDs, nearing 1,000 receiving yards -- seems like the best candidate. Le'Veon Bell should earn some support as he propels the Steelers towards the postseason -- if voters decry giving the MVP to Tom Brady, however, would they vote for another player who started the season on the suspension list? Jimmy Graham made a fantastic turnaround from a patellar tendon injury but hasn't been a steady force in an up-and-down Seahawks offense.

With no shoo-in in the "missed last year with injury" category, the award could swing in the direction of Murray, especially if he engineers a path to push the Titans to the playoffs.

Even if he doesn't want the dust-collector on his shelf to remind him of a lost year in Philadelphia, Murray's play in 2016 certainly warrants recognition.