The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation has announced that OLB Terrell Suggs is the recipient of the 2012 Ed Block Courage Award for the Baltimore Ravens. Suggs was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, but suffered an Achilles injury during off-season workouts that forced him to miss the first six weeks of the 2012 season. Many expected Suggs to miss most of 2012 with the injury. Instead, he returned in Week 7 to play in Baltimore's critical AFC match-up with the Houston Texans. Suggs' quick recovery time was labeled as nothing short of a miracle. What may have been more miraculous was his level of play upon returning. Terrell recorded his first sack of the year in the first quarter of the game, adding four tackles (one for loss), two quarterback hits and a pass defensed in the contest.
"It's humbling and it's an honor to know that my teammates chose me to receive the Ed Block Courage Award," Suggs stated. "That means they saw the hard work I put in to get back so we could all play together again. I'm very honored and flattered.
"The rehab was extremely painful and excruciating, but I got through it. My trainer, Mark Smith, and my rehab therapist, Sam Bell, did an excellent job of pushing me every day. Not only that, but they made sure they helped me recover with the proper treatment. The entire process was a task, but I really learned a lot about myself."
"Anybody who knows Terrell understands his enthusiasm and passion for the game," said Smith, the Ravens' head certified athletic trainer. "Terrell continued using that type of energy during the rehabilitation process, working tirelessly with our doctors, strength coaches and training staff to get himself ready to return."
Off the field, Suggs is highly active in the Baltimore community. He hosts the "Team Sizzle Worldwide Celebrity Weekend," a charitable event to benefit the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund. Inspired by a chance encounter with a teen who suffers from sickle cell anemia, Suggs' charitable focus is on funding research efforts and care for those who have the disease. He continues to support his alma mater, Hamilton (AZ) HS, and has provided uniforms, cleats and gloves to the football team. Suggs has also supported the Ravens' charitable initiatives, including the Countdown to Kickoff Barbeque and A Purple Evening, in addition to various teammates' events (e.g. former Ravens T Jonathan Ogden's An Evening Ringside). The Courage Award is named after Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. Some of his most significant contributions came in the tireless manner in which he gave of himself to help improve the lives of children. He stood for courage and championed the cause of those who displayed that characteristic. His work and philosophy continue today through the Foundation that bears his name.The Foundation's efforts are endorsed by the NFL and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS).