Every year, the NFL hands out the Ed Block Courage Awards to each of the NFL’s 32 teams to a player who exemplifies the commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage – recognizing both on and off the field extra effort and the ability to overcome great adversity, whether personal or professional.
Minnesota Vikings players voted teammate Teddy Bridgewater as the recipient of the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award, which was announced Thursday. Bridgewater has been forced to overcome both personal and professional adversity during his young life.
His mother, Rose, is a breast cancer survivor and, since being in the NFL, Bridgewater has been very involved in breast cancer-related causes and charities. As any Vikings fan knows by now, Bridgewater suffered a devastating knee injury during a practice at Winter Park on Aug. 30 and was lost for the season.
In a statement, Bridgewater has tried to make the best of a bad situation and is preparing to make a full recovery from the debilitating knee injury that cost him the 2016 season.
“It's an honor to win this award, especially as my teammates made the selection,” Bridgewater said. “2016 has been amazing for me. Everyone looks at an injury as a negative. It has helped me spiritually and mentally, even with me already being an extremely positive person. My injury was a new challenge and I love challenges. With the help of many people we have attacked this challenge head on and expect great success in the future. A special thanks to the Vikings training staff and all those that support me along my journey.”
The Block Award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts. The 32 team winners will travel to Baltimore in March to receive trophies at a gala in their honor and spend time at the local Courage House at St. Vincent’s Center, a facility specializing in helping treat abused children.
For more information about the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, visit their website at www.edblock.org.
Bridgewater becomes the 33rd winner of the award for the Vikings, joining Steve Riley, Keith Nord, Walker Lee Ashley, Scott Studwell, Leo Lewis, Jim Gustafson, Gary Zimmerman, Terry Allen, Darrin Nelson, Henry Thomas, Cris Carter, John Randle, Scottie Graham, Robert Smith, Randall Cunningham, Robert Griffith, Gary Anderson, Daunte Culpepper, Lewis Kelly, Eric Kelly, Corey Chavous, Koren Robinson, Matt Birk, Chad Greenway, Kenechi Udeze, E.J. Henderson, Cedric Griffin, Anthony Herrera, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams, Greg Jennings and Phil Loadholt.