Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo is working his way back from a torn pectoral muscle that led to surgery and cost him most of the 2012 season. Orakpo wants to return to his pre-injury form next season, per USA Today's Jim Corbett.
Orakpo hopes that he and teammate Robert Griffin III, who is also coming off major surgery, will be seen as the top comeback players in the league.
"If we can both get Comeback Player of the Year honors, that would be remarkable, that would mean we did something special as a team," Orakpo said. "Me and Griff worked extremely hard to not let our fans and this team down, because we know how much they rely on both of us."
Orakpo tore his pectoral muscle in the Redskins' Week 2 home loss to the St. Louis Rams and missed the remainder of the season. He showed his value in those first two games, compiling five tackles, three pass breakups, one sack and one forced fumble. In 2011, his last full season, Orakpo totaled 59 tackles, nine sacks, five pass breakups, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Orakpo doesn't want to limit himself to Comeback Player of the Year; the two-time Pro Bowler wants to be the NFL's best defensive player this season.
"Defensive Player of the Year is a goal of mine,'' Orakpo said. "I worked extremely hard this offseason and Defensive Player of the Year is very obtainable."