Every year(well, except for 1985) the Associated Press hands out their award for the NFL Comeback Player Of The Year. It's given to the player that shows perseverance in overcoming adversity, in the form of not being in the NFL the previous year, a severe injury, or simply poor performance. This year's recipient was Dallas Cowboys linebacker Greg Ellis. Ellis tore his achilles tendon nine games into the '06 season, and returned in '07 to tally 12 1/2 sacks. I don't really have a problem with him winning the award, but here are the other players that received votes:
10 Votes: Randy Moss(WR-New England)
7 Votes: Ben Roethlisberger(QB-Pittsburgh)
5 Votes: Brett Favre(QB-Green Bay), Jamal Lewis(RB-Cleveland)
3 Votes: Bobby Engram(WR-Seattle)
2 Votes: Patrick Kerney(DE-Seattle), Derek Anderson(QB-Cleveland)
1 Vote: Amani Toomer(WR-New York), Albert Haynesworth(DT-Tennessee), Mario Williams(DE-Houston), Andre Carter(DE-Washington)
Of those players, Engram, Kerney and Toomer missed significant time last season due to injury. Moss missed a few at the end of the season due to an ankle injury. Roethlisberger was involved in a motorcycle accident, and had his appendix removed during the offseason prior to the 2006 season. Haynesworth missed some games, but that was because he was suspended for kicking Andre Gurode in the head. The other players receiving votes contributed for the majority of the '06 season, except for Anderson who was a back-up for much of last year.
So those players basically overcame poor performances in 2006, and turned in great ones in 2007. If that's the case, how could Wes Welker not receive any votes? Granted, he hasn't really had a year quite like this one to compare him against, but he definitely perservered through some rough years in Miami and put up stellar numbers this season. Besides, it's not like Mario Williams or Derek Anderson returned to greatness this year.
Welker finished tied with T.J. Houshmanzadeh for most catches in the NFL this season, and he beat his previous best by 45 receptions. He also lead the top 10 receivers in terms of catches with a 5.7 YAC average. And was a consistent contributor on punt and kick returns.
Welker might not have the longest stat sheet to draw from, but he's definitely turned in a performance this year that's worthy of some individual awards. He might have come back from an injury, but he's just as worthy of inclusion on that list as some of the other players that received votes.