ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — For their courage in the face of adversity, both wide receiver Courtland Sutton and Tight Ends Coach Wade Harman will be honored by the Ed Block Courage Foundation, it was announced in a team meeting on Thursday.
Sutton was selected as the team's 2021 Ed Block Courage Award winner, and Harman is receiving special recognition for his courage as he battled prostate cancer earlier this year.
Each year, the Ed Block Courage Award honors those on a team who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.
Sutton was selected by his teammates for his approach and dedication to the rehab process after suffering a season-ending knee injury on Sept. 20, 2020. A 2019 Pro Bowler, he was one of two players throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to spend the entire offseason rehabbing his injury.
"Courtland was the winner there chosen by his peers, and obviously very deserving," Head Coach Vic Fangio said before practice on Thursday. "He had the tough ACL injury last year, had a tough rehab, but he fought through it with a great commitment. Not every day in rehab is a good day, but you wouldn't know that by being around Courtland through his rehab, and I saw him almost every day during his rehab. Even if he wasn't having a good day, he had the attitude that tomorrow would be a better day. He just fought through everything."
Selected by Denver in the second round (40th overall) in the 2018 NFL Draft from Southern Methodist University, Sutton has recorded 165 receptions for 2,540 yards (15.4 avg.) and 12 touchdowns in 46 games played. He was just the third receiver in franchise history to record a 1,000-yard receiving season by his second year before sustaining his injury in Week 2 of 2020.
Harman is in his third year as tight ends coach for the Broncos, and he has been instrumental in the drafting and development of tight ends Noah Fant and Albert Okwuegbunam. Fant currently leads the team in receptions (53) and receiving touchdowns (tied, 3).
"[He] went through the treatment during training camp and the preseason," Fangio said. "Many times, we'd be stretching out here at 9:15 or so and he'd be pulling in from his treatment and walking right onto the field for stretch."
Fangio added that Harman is "as clean as you can be at this stage" and he thanked team doctors for helping catch it early.
"He's doing really good right now, and we're all hopeful," Fangio said. "And it just goes to show, it was good by our doctors that it was an early detection, and when you do detect prostate cancer early, there's a high rate of beating it. That's what we hope is the case here.
During his media availability on Thursday, Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur also discussed how much he admired Harman's approach during a very difficult time.
"He handled it like a warrior," Shurmur said. "He was very private about it. He certainly would tell me when he was going and he'd just slip away, get his treatment and come back and keep trucking. I admired how he handled it, and it should be an inspiration to everybody that's going through a real serious deal like he did. He was in our prayers, and thankfully to this point, hopefully he's got it knocked."
The Ed Block Courage Award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts, who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. Recipients are selected by their teammates for exceptional courage, great character and inspiring effort.
Details regarding the 44th Ed Block Courage Awards recognizing recipients from each of the 32 NFL teams will be announced at a later date.
ALL-TIME DENVER BRONCOS ED BLOCK COURAGE AWARD WINNERS
|2014||Chris Harris Jr.|
|2015||Brandon Marshall/Danny Trevathan|