Given that Damar Hamlin has played 18 special teams snaps this year already, I don’t think anyone should be making any bets on Comeback Player of the Year. It’s an award that is voted on by writers and NFL writers will feel obligated to do what they’ve been saying they will do for the entire year: Give the award to Hamlin if he plays even one snap in 2023.
Damar Hamlin will win the 2023 NFL Comeback Player of the Year award.
However, in any other year, Cooper Kupp would have a decent shot at winning and that was shown in the change of his odds to win CPOY on Monday: Previously with +10000 to win 2023 Comeback Player of the Year before his debut on Sunday, Kupp now has the sixth-best odds in the NFL after his performance against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Per DraftKings Sportsbook, Kupp is now +2500 to win CPOY.
Kupp is trailing not only Hamlin, but teammate Matthew Stafford, who has +1700 odds, behind Hamlin (-175), Tua Tagovailoa (+275), and Baker Mayfield (+1500), who is coming back from being one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL, including as a replacement for Stafford. Lamar Jackson is +2000, followed by a tie between Kupp and Breece Hall.
But for some reason, one name nowhere on the list is Aaron Donald.
Kupp missed seven games last season. Stafford missed seven games. Donald missed five games last season. Is the difference all that great? And Donald has had arguably a better start to the year—with more on his plate by being the quarterback of the defense—than Stafford.
Not that it matters, they’re all losing to Hamlin.
Speaking of awards, Puka Nacua has now fallen to third in Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. He was already behind C.J. Stroud, but is now slightly behind Dolphins running back Devon Achane, who is averaging over 12 yards per carry through five weeks.
Cooper Kupp looked just as elite as we remember! Here with his patented move beating an elite CB in Slay— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) October 9, 2023
I suspect he and Stafford will need to work on timing after a year of not working together in live action.
Tough loss but look at our upcoming schedule . We’ll fight! pic.twitter.com/gvDL7SL8Wz
Kupp was targeted 12 times against the Eagles, catching eight passes for 118 yards, with six of his receptions going for a first down. He looked no different than he did before the injury (which then manifested into a hamstring injury that knocked him out for the first four games), when he had eight catches for 127 yards against the Bucs last November 6th, the game before he was injured.
Questions of whether Kupp or Nacua would see a change in targets were answered with, “Maybe not”, as Stafford instead paid less attention to Van Jefferson (who was barely on the field), Tutu Atwell, Tyler Higbee, and Kyren Williams. Whether that will continue to be the plan remains to be seen, as the Rams scored zero points after halftime.
Not Kupp’s fault and this offense will need a comeback of its own.