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Football. It’s a high-speed, full-contact sport.

When it comes to the NFL, injury prevention and care are paramount for coaches, players and teams. From pre-season to the Super Bowl; from serious and downright gruesome, football injuries can profoundly impact a team’s season.

For the last 13 years, the Ed Block Courage Award (named after the former head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts) has honored NFL Players who exemplify sportsmanship and courage by rehabilitating major injuries. Each team votes and selects the player among them who has experienced the most significant injury and returned to play after extensive treatment, surgery, rehabilitation and more the following year.

Dr. Patrick Connor, team physician for the Carolina Panthers, shared the Carolina Panthers’ Ed Block Courage Awards recipients over the past 13 years, along with their injuries:

  • 2017 -- Graham Gano
  • 2016 -- Luke Kuechly
  • 2015 -- Cam Newton
  • 2014 -- Greg Olsen
  • 2013 -- Ryan Kalil

Lis Franc (midfoot) injury with surgical repair

  • 2012 -- Ron Edwards

Triceps tendon tear (elbow) with surgical repair

  • 2011 -- Thomas Davis

Recurrent ACL tear of the knee with surgical reconstruction

  • 2010 -- Jordan Gross

Broken tibia / surgical fixation

  • 2009 -- Dan Connor

Multiple injuries (hip dislocation; shoulder dislocation; ACL tear) with multiple surgical repairs and reconstructions

  • 2008 -- Jake Delhomme

Right elbow ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) tear with surgical reconstruction

  • 2007 -- Mike Rucker

ACL/medial collateral ligament tears of the knee with surgical reconstruction and repair

  • 2006 -- Colin Branch

ACL/medial collateral ligament tears of the knee with surgical reconstruction and repair

  • 2005 -- Steve Smith

Ankle fracture dislocation with surgical repair

  • 2004 -- Mark Fields

Lymphoma and chemotherapy

  • 2003 -- DeShaun Foster

Cartilage lesion of the knee and microfracture

  • 2002 -- Kevin Donnalley

ACL and medial collateral ligament tears of the knee with surgical reconstruction

  • 2001 -- Patrick Jeffers

ACL tear of the knee with surgical reconstruction


For the latest news on the Carolina Panthers, visit panthers.com.


Originally published November 12, 2014 and updated August 31, 2018

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