NFL comebacks take many shapes

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Dec. 23 2011 11:00 p.m. MST

"He wants to be successful and learn as much as he possibly can about this game and try to find ways to help this team get better down the road," tight end Vernon Davis said. "I'm all for it. I'm a big supporter."

Bengals kicker Nugent couldn't be sure how much support he had in Cincinnati as he returned from a major injury to his right knee suffered in mid-November 2010. His accuracy on field goals erased any doubts, and he's been the league's most pinpoint kicker, 27 for 29 thus far.

"It was tough because when you tear your ACL, you lose your quad (muscles), which is the first thing that stops doing anything," Nugent said. "It's basically the whole offseason getting your quad back to where it was before. It was tough at times because I felt like I was a level behind everyone else."

Not any longer.

Others who have made impressive comebacks this year include quarterbacks Romo of Dallas, Hasselbeck of Tennessee, and Matthew Stafford of Detroit; 49ers CB Rogers; linebackers Ryans and Connor Barwin of Houston, D'Qwell Jackson of Cleveland, and Nick Barnett of Dallas; and two running backs who have been sensational recently, Marshawn Lynch of Seattle and Reggie Bush of Miami.

"It definitely means a lot," Bush said of becoming the dependable, every-down back he wants to be. "It means that I'm doing everything that I expected I was going to be doing. This isn't so much me being surprised this happened. It's more the fact this is something I expected."

Even if not a lot of others did, which makes a comeback even more special.

Today's NFL games

Oakland at Kansas City, 11 a.m.

Jacksonville at Tennessee, 11 a.m.

St. Louis at Pittsburgh, 11 a.m.

Denver at Buffalo, 11 a.m.

Tampa Bay at Carolina, 11 a.m.

Minnesota at Washington, 11 a.m.

Cleveland at Baltimore, 11 a.m.

Miami at New England, 11 a.m.

N.Y. Giants at N.Y. Jets, 11 a.m.

Arizona at Cincinnati, 11 a.m.

San Diego at Detroit, 2:05 p.m.

San Fran. at Seattle, 2:15 p.m.

Philadelphia at Dallas, 2:15 p.m.

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