On Wednesday, the NFL announced the finalists for its various 2022 regular-season awards. Many were surprised by the fact that Commanders running back Brian Robinson wasn’t among the three finalists for Comeback Player of the Year.
The finalists were, and are, Giants running back Saquon Barkley, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, and Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith.
Robinson was omitted not because he didn’t get enough votes, but because the 50 voters weren’t allowed to vote for Robinson.
I know this because, for the first time, I was one of the 50 voters. (I know. What’s the world coming to?) I tried put Robinson on my Comeback Player of the Year ballot. I was told he’s not eligible, based on longstanding Associated Press rules.
“Rookies aren’t eligible for the award because it recognizes players who were in the NFL the previous season or prior years,” Rob Maaddi of the AP recently told PFT via text message. “Robinson’s case is unique and presents another reason to consider amending the rule.”
The AP has made several changes to the voting this year under Maaddi’s leadership, including the ability of voters to vote for five MVP candidates and three candidates for all other awards. More changes could be coming.
The arbitrary decision to exclude rookies should be one of the changes that the AP made. Robinson literally came back from being shot. If that doesn’t make him one of the finalists for Comeback Player of the Year, I don’t know what does.