Just because he knew it was coming didn’t make it any less satisfying.
Completing one of the most inspiring stories of the NFL season, Eric Berry punctuated his return from Hodgkin’s lymphoma to being among football’s elite by winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award Saturday night. The former Tennessee star received 38 of the 50 votes for the award, and in accepting the trophy gave a speech in which he both admitted that he expected the honor and was simultaneously humbled by it.
““There were some tough times,” Berry said in his speech. “There were times I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. There were times of uncertainty. … There were a lot of lonely nights but my mom was right there. … When I lost my hair, (my dad) shaved his head so I wouldn’t be by myself and I love you to death for that.”
Berry missed most of the 2014 season going through treatment for the cancer. He said this week that his goal during his absence was just to get back to being his old self, something he did rather well in 2015. Berry was named a First Team All-Pro safety for the second time in his career and made his fourth Pro Bowl on the back of a 45-tackle, two-interception season with 10 passes defensed. He added eight tackles, one pass defensed and an interception in the Chiefs’ two playoff games this season.
Berry beat out MVP runner up Carson Palmer and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson for this honor.