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Top 10 NFL Players to Come Back and Resurrect Their Careers
Comebacks in the NFL go down in history books as legends. For years, fans talk of great come-from-behind wins.
Here is a look at some players who made their own comebacks in the NFL. The first six players resurrected their careers, becoming true legends. The latter four all made comebacks last year, but their status in the NFL is yet to be determined. Were their comebacks flukes or will they also become stars who resurrected their careers?
Doug Flutie is best known for his astounding play while playing quarterback at Boston College. After spending 1990-1997 in the Canadian Football League, Doug Flutie came back to lead the Buffalo Bills in 1998. "Flutie Magic" carried the Bills to a 10-6 record and Doug Flutie to the Pro Bowl.
Prior to a devastating ACL injury that forced Tom Brady to sit out the 2008 NFL season, he had led the New England Patriots to several Super Bowls and gone to four Pro Bowls himself. In 2009, Tom Brady returned from his injury, and, by 2012, was once again commanding the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Jake Delhomme's first chance in the NFL was in 1997, when he played with the New Orleans Saints. After not impressing the coaching staff, he was transferred to NFL Europe. It was not until 2003 that Jake Delhomme would return to the NFL, this time with the Carolina Panthers. In 2003, Delhomme led the Panthers to the Super Bowl and had a great season.
Michael Vick went from being on the cover of Madden 2004 to prison for leading a dog-fighting ring. After spending two years in prison, Vick has not only returned to the NFL, but he quickly became one of the best quarterbacks in the league, again. In fact, he almost graced the cover of EA Sports Madden again.
Kurt Warner's first season in the NFL, in 1994, was short. The Green Bay Packers cut him before during training camp. After stocking shelves at a local grocery store, Kurt Warner eventually made it back to the NFL. In 1999, he led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl victory and earned the NFL and Super Bowl MVP titles.
Looking forward, here are four players to watch during the 2012 NFL season. They each had mediocre 2010 seasons, but came back in 2011 and performed beyond expectations.
If they continue to excel, these players could join the best NFL comeback players of all time:
Alex Smith struggled during his beginning in the NFL. In 2011, when Jim Harbaugh joined the San Francisco 49ers, all that changed. Under Jim Harbaugh's leadership, Alex Smith showed his potential. If he continues to develop in the 2012 NFL season, Alex Smith could be a special football player.
Steve Smith's statistics are worthy of the NFL Hall of Fame, but his career appeared to be ending in 2010. After a dismal NFL season in 2010, Steve Smith returned in 2011 and made it to the Pro Bowl.
After being let go by his team, Darren Sproles came to the New Orleans Saints. In 2011, Sproles had more than 80 catches and over 600 yards rushing. The 2012 season will tell whether this comeback was a fluke or is here to stay.
When he entered the NFL with the New Orleans Saints, Reggie Bush was a household name. After not living up to expectations, Reggie Bush had a solid, but not astounding career. In 2011, however, he rushed for over 1,000 yards. If Reggie Bush can do this again in 2012, he might become a star again.
While patiently waiting for a Super Bowl win, Scott Brodie enjoys watching the Buffalo Bills compete in the NFL. He writes about NFL and other sports-related news.
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