Adrian Peterson, Darren McFadden among NFL backs seeking rebound

The Comeback Player of the Year race begins Sunday.

That figures to be one of the NFL’s most hotly contested awards this season, with everyone chasing Peyton Manning and his return from four neck procedures.

The most crowded field is at running back, where a cluster of potential rushing champions are coming back after suffering season-ending injuries in 2011.

Among them:

Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson: He sustained torn ligaments in his left knee against Washington in the second-to-last week of the season. He’ll face Jacksonville on Sunday, a Jaguars team led by Maurice Jones-Drew, who’s had his own knee problems and sat out training camp in hopes of a new contract (which he didn’t get).


Buffalo’s Fred Jackson: The Bills play at the Jets, and likely will get the ball in Jackson’s hands a lot. He suffered a fractured fibula last season. Before he was hurt, he had rolled up 1,376 yards from scrimmage in 9 1/2 games.

Chicago’s Matt Forte: Forte, who will face Indianapolis on Sunday, led the NFL in yards from scrimmage when a knee sprain ended his season in December. The Bears gave him a four-year extension this off-season.

Kansas City’s Jamaal Charles: The Chiefs lost Charles to a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He was the league’s second-leading rusher in 2010, and plays Atlanta in Kansas City on Sunday.

Oakland’s Darren McFadden: McFadden will be back for Monday night’s home game against San Diego. He led the NFL with 600 yard rushing through the first six games last season before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc injury to his right foot.

Dallas’ DeMarco Murray: One back has already bounced back strong in Week 1. He had 131 yards in 20 carries for Dallas in the Cowboys’ debut victory over the New York Giants on Wednesday night. Murray’s 2011 season was cut short by a broken ankle.


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