Adrian Peterson suffered a career-threatening injury in December 2011 to return a year later, and have the greatest season of his career. He finished eight yards shy of the single-season record for most yards, set in 1984 by Eric Dickerson, rushing for 2,097 yards, the second-most ever for a running back in a single season, and recorded 12 touchdowns.
Peterson called his 2011 injury a blessing in disguise... and he may have been right.
His season culminated with two top NFL awards from The Associated Press, Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year, beating out Peyton Manning.
"My career could have easily been over, just like that," Peterson said Saturday (February 2) after the news was announced. "Oh man. The things I've been through throughout my lifetime has made me mentally tough.
"I'm kind of speechless. This is amazing," he continued, as he accepted his awards at the 2nd Annual NFL Honors show on CBS.
The awards are based on balloting from a nationwide panel of 50 media members, who regularly cover the NFL. Peterson received 30½ votes. Manning, who won the Comeback Player of the Year award, got the other 19½ votes for MVP.
Adrian is also the first running back to win MVP since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.
Other winners included: Houston Texans end J.J. Watt with the 2012 NFL Defensive Player of the Year award; Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians with Coach of the Year; Robert Griffin III (of the Washington Redskins) with Rookie of the year; and Carolina linebacker Luke Kuechly with Defensive Rookie of the Year.