Winston, Henry See Solid Movement in Comeback Player of the Year Odds

Derrick Henry And Jamies Winston

  • Injuries foster Comeback Player of the Year opportunities for Henry, Winston
  • Henry’s potential allows him a fathomed return to greatness
  • Winston will look to build on last season’s hot start

Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry and New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston have become more popular betting targets for the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year award. Henry is still the leader after opening as the favorite at +550 and betting activity has pushed the odds down to +350.

Winston started at +700 and has now pulled to +500 as the second favorite to win the award.

Henry missed nine games after suffering a broken foot before he returned in the Titans’ playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Meanwhile, Winston’s season ended early as he suffered ACL and MCL injuries in a Week 8 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Last season, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow won Comeback Player of the Year after sustaining a serious knee injury halfway through his rookie campaign.

Please Note:
Burrow’s odds +100 trailed Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott (-140) to begin the 2021 season before he went on to upset Prescott for the award.

Burrow wound up leading the Bengals to a shocking Super Bowl run, where they ultimately fell at the hands of the favored Los Angeles Rams.

Henry Readies Throne as Potential Comeback Player of the Year

Henry was on his way to his third consecutive NFL rushing title after he had amassed 937 yards on 219 carries in the first eight games.

Those two statistics and then the ten rushing touchdowns led the NFL when Henry was injured. Quarterbacks have won 10 of the last 14 Comeback Player of the Year trophies, including each of the last five.

Henry’s status as a running back could throw a wrench into his candidacy, though he’s still a very popular betting option as the Titans start training camp.

Henry is certainly still the focal point of the Titans’ offense, just two years removed from a 2,000-yard campaign that landed him in the MVP conversation.

Please Note:
When Henry is on the field, the Titans will run the ball 58 percent of the time. With him on the sideline and back up Dion Lewis or Jeremy McNichols in the game, Tennessee only runs the ball on 17 percent of the plays.

Of course, there is a lot more injury risk with running backs than there is for QBs. That could be a potential hurdle for Henry bettors to overcome. If he suffers another long-term injury, his Comeback Player of the Year case will take a big hit.

Winston Could Figure as Saints Chase Bucs in NFC South

Winston got off to a flying start last season before a torn ACL sidelined him last November. New Orleans did go on to win four of their last five games without him, though a soft schedule down the stretch played a role.

Winston had completed 59 percent of his passes while rushing for 7.3 yards per carry before going down. If he could put those kinds of numbers on the board over the course of a full 17 games, his opportunity for Comeback Player of the Year would be solid, especially if the Saints unseat the Buccaneers as NFC South champions.

The loss of a solid offensive head coach in Sean Payton will not be in Winston’s favor in the odds market. New head coach Dennis Allen’s input from offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael could be favorable for Winston.

Carmichael has been on the New Orleans staff for 17 years and 14 as the offensive coordinator.

Winston’s start and his confidence may bode well for his odds as last season, two of his three picks came in a 26-7 loss at Carolina in Week 2. He threw five touchdown passes in the opening week win over Green Bay and then four TD tosses as the Saints won in Washington in Week 5.

Please Note:
Allen has allowed Winston to participate in team drills from the beginning of training camp while Saints GM Mickey Loomis notes that the Saints feel good about Winston’s injury status which gives him the opportunity to start in Week 1.

Winston says that his explosion and strength have gotten better since the minicamp which followed his tearing the ACL

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Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.

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