Joe Flacco Wins Comeback Player of the Year Award Over Damar Hamlin at NFL Honors

After joining the Cleveland Browns in December, the quarterback receives the award for his successful comeback season

<p>Tim Warner/Getty</p> Joe Flacco

Tim Warner/Getty

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco's comeback season is capped off with an NFL Honors award.

At Thursday night’s NFL Honors, hosted by comedian Keegan Michael-Key, the Cleveland Browns quarterback, 39, received the comeback player of the year award.

"Big thanks to the city of Cleveland, just everybody in Cleveland. I wanna say thank you to my teammates just for welcoming me in that locker room at that point in the year," began the quarterback. "Coming in as the new guy is not the easiest thing."

"I want to say thank you to the organization," continued Flacco. "I want to say thank you to the city for making me and my family feel welcome. It was truly special."

"Before I get out of here, I want to say thank you to my beautiful wife. None of this would be possible without her back at home being the woman that she is," concluded Flacco, in a shoutout to his wife of 13 years, Dana.

Flacco's win follows a tight vote between himself, the Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield. The scoring gave Flacco 151 votes, while Hamlin garnered 140 and Mayfield received 93.

Related: Who Is Joe Flacco's Wife? All About Dana Flacco

<p>Cooper Neill/Getty</p> Joe Flacco

Cooper Neill/Getty

Joe Flacco

In December 2023, the former Baltimore Ravens quarterback made the Cleveland Browns active roster and led the team to the Wild Card round of playoffs, where they ultimately lost to the Houston Texans. Joe said the best part of joining the team was being able to relish the moment with Dana and their kids.

<p>Christopher Polk/Getty </p> Damar Hamlin

Christopher Polk/Getty

Damar Hamlin

Flacco's win was a surprise over Hamlin, who returned to playing this season after collapsing on the field during a Monday Night Football game in January 2023.

Hamlin had to be resuscitated on the field after he suffered cardiac arrest early in the first quarter of the Jan. 2, 2023 game between the Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals. He was later taken to a nearby hospital, where he spent more than a week recovering.

At last year’s NFL Honors, Hamlin highlighted and thanked the first responders who revived him on the field. “I have a long journey ahead, a journey full of unknowns and a journey full of milestones,” he said in his speech. “But it’s a lot easier to face your fears when you have a purpose.”

Related: Damar Hamlin Shares Photos from His Hospitalization on Anniversary of His On-Field Cardiac Arrest

The NFL Honors is an annual award ceremony held in the week leading up to the Super Bowl, recognizing the league's highlights of the season — from plays to overall performances and players.

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