Comeback Player of the year: Eddie Royal
Heading into the 2016 season, Eddie Royal was one of the few Ryan Pace signings that could be considered a bust. After signing a 3 year, $15 million contract in 2015, Royal spent the majority of his first season injured. He only suited up 9 times for the Chicago Bears in 2015, and didn’t gain more than 60 yards in any one contest. After the abysmal season, most gave up on the veteran slot receiver.
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2016’s training camp brought along a familiar storyline: Eddie Royal out today with ____. The news gathered collected groans with most seeing it as the beginning of the end for Royal. However, the 9th year veteran made a big statement on opening day in Houston. Royal diced up the Texans for 57 yards as well as a dramatic end of half touchdown. Royal would go on to prove the performance was anything but a fluke. He has surpassed 50 yards 4 times this year including a 111 yard outing against the Lions.
Royal has also reasserted his worth as a punt returner this season. His return touchdown against the Eagles came in garbage time, but his ability to assist in the field position battle has been key.
Throughout the first 8 games this season, Royal has proved last season was an exception rather than the rule.