TAMPA — On the Bucs’ first offensive play of the season Sept. 11 at Dallas, Chris Godwin caught a pass in the left flat from Tom Brady and raced 24 yards.
There wasn’t anything remarkable about the play except that it represented a complete return from two torn knee ligaments sustained only nine months earlier. Godwin didn’t stop there. He finished with a career-high 104 catches for 1,023 yards and three touchdowns this season.
Wednesday, Godwin was named the Bucs’ Ed Block Courage Award winner. He is one of 32 NFL players who will be honored April 1-2 at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore.
“I feel like I have a much better appreciation this year for what I was able to do,” Godwin said recently. “I didn’t have an opportunity to play in the playoffs last year, and I’m grateful for that. I’m grateful to be back with my guys, and I’m just thankful.
“We play a great game. ... Having my injury last year, you never know when your last game is going to be. Again, I’m very grateful for this opportunity and grateful they trust me to put the ball in my hands as much as they do.”
The award is named after Ed Block, a humanitarian and former trainer for the Baltimore Colts. It’s presented to one player from each team and voted by teammates.
The award recognizes players who embody professionalism, strength and dedication; serve as community role models; and display a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage.
“I am truly humbled to be selected as the Buccaneers nominee for this award,” Godwin said in a team news release. “I appreciate my teammates for honoring me with this recognition, and I am incredibly grateful to our support staff who aided and encouraged me as I worked to overcome a difficult injury. While this is an individual honor, this is something I will share with everybody in the Buccaneers organization.”
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