Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is the 2017 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.
The award, named for the former longtime Baltimore Colts trainer, is presented to the player on each team who symbolizes “professionalism, great strength and dedication,” while also acting as a community role model.
Bernard tore his ACL on Nov. 20, 2016, ending a season that saw him on pace to post career highs in receptions and receiving yards. Bernard made it a goal to be ready for the first practice of training camp, and he accomplished it.
“Giovani was upset and disappointed when he tore his ACL, just like any player would be,” said Bengals trainer Paul Sparling. “After his surgery, he came in and got to work every day on his rehabilitation, leaving no doubt in his mind or in anyone else’s that he would be ready to go for training camp. His return to pre-injury form should be an example to everyone that hard work and dedication can help attain your goals.”
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Bernard has 406 rushing yards on 95 carries for a team-best average of 4.3, and he’s caught 37 passes for 371 yards.