Football

What injury? Brady back at top of game

Tom Brady has gone from record-setting MVP in 2007 to injured superstar in '08 to The Associated Press 2009 NFL Comeback Player of the Year.

Brady’s strong return from a left-knee injury that sidelined him for all but the first quarter of the 2008 opener earned the Patriots’ quarterback the award Wednesday.

He received 19 votes from a nationwide panel of 50 writers and broadcasters who cover the NFL, beating Tampa Bay running back Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, who got 14.

A three-time Super Bowl winner and a finalist for AP Player of the Decade, Brady led New England to a 10-6 record and the AFC East title. He threw for 4,398 yards and 28 touchdowns.

Most significantly, he got the Patriots back into the playoffs. But they’ll be playing without Wes Welker and his league-leading 123 receptions. Welker’s season came to an end Wednesday when he was put on injured reserve because of an injury to his left knee.

Harvin top offensive rookie

Percy Harvin used his versatility to win The Associated Press 2009 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.

The Minnesota Vikings wide receiver/kick returner got 41 votes from the nationwide panel of 50 writers and broadcasters who cover the league.

The 22nd overall draft choice out of Florida, Harvin had 60 receptions for 790 yards and six touchdowns; rushed 15 times for 135 yards; and returned 42 kickoffs for 1,156 yards (27.5 per) and two touchdowns, one covering 101 yards.

Extra points

Mike Shanahan was introduced Wednesday as the Washington Redskins’ head coach and executive vice president. He signed a 5-year deal, averaging approximately $7 million annually, that give him final approval on personnel decisions. … Police in Charlotte, N.C., will not file charges against Loleini Tonga, the fiancee of late Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chris Henry, who came out of the back of her pickup truck on a curvy, residential road and suffered fatal injuries. … Already under a sobriety court order, former Detroit Lions receiver Charles Rogers got 93 days in jail after apparently drinking too much and passing out at a Mexican restaurant in Novi, Mich. … UCLA defensive tackle Brian Price, the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, and Florida All-America tight end Aaron Fernandez will skip their senior seasons to enter the NFL draft. … Mike Waufle has been fired as the New York Giants defensive line coach.

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