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Harris named Ed Block Courage Award Recipient


Look through the best photos of Chris Harris Jr. from his time with the Broncos.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – ** In less than a year, Chris Harris Jr.'s teammates have watched him go down during the AFC Divisional Playoff Game with a torn ACL to one of the top cornerbacks in the NFL.

For that, they selected him as their Ed Block Courage Award winner for 2014.

"You look at what Chris did last year and one of the things that kind of goes unsung is the fact he's probably been the fastest guy to ever come back off an ACL," Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway said of Harris earlier this month. "You look at what he did, the time that he spent this offseason, to get healthy and be ready to go, and be ready to start the regular season. I'm not sure anybody has ever come back as fast as he's come back, so that kind of tells you what kind of guy he is."

The award honors a player who exemplifies sportsmanship and courage. Harris worked his way back from his ACL tear to ranking third in the NFL this season with a 47.8 quarterback rating against him, according to Pro Football Focus.

He is also PFF's top-rated cornerback and hasn't allowed a touchdown this season. Last week, it was announced that he was selected to his first Pro Bowl.

"It's been a roller coaster year," Harris said. "It started bad, not being able to play in the Super Bowl and having to recover from an ACL. I worked extremely hard. People don't really understand how hard I had to work to get to this point, and I'm just blessed to be able to say I'm a Pro Bowler."

He has started every game this season, totaling 55 tackles (51 solo), three interceptions (52 yds.), 18 passes defensed, one sacks and one fumble recovery.

Von Miller, who rehabilitated his ACL alongside Harris, is not shocked by Harris' success this season or his quick turnaround from his ACL tear.

"Good things happen to good people and he's having a great year and I was there to like witness it, like firsthand," Miller said. "I probably got a better viewpoint of some of his success than anybody else on the team because I spent every single day with him. So it's definitely not a surprise for me and I'm definitely happy for Chris, but I saw it all coming from way back in like March."

In his press conference preceding the Broncos' game against the Dolphins, Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio had heavy praise for the fourth-year corner.

"He competes his butt of. He prepares very hard. He's very tenacious and that's how he approached his [ACL] injury and coming back from his injury," Del Rio said. "It was a major injury to come back from, but he attacked it and worked so hard every day. That's the way he plays for us. It doesn't surprise me because I watch the way he works, his work ethic. He's an intelligent player, super, super competitive, and that's what we love about him."

The award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts, a pioneer in his profession and a humanitarian.

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