Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

After listening to Nate Ebner speak, no surprise he was Patriots' recipient of Ed Block Courage Award

Ryan Hannable
January 03, 2019 - 3:40 pm

FOXBORO -- Special teams player Nate Ebner was named the Patriots’ recipient of the 2018 Ed Block Courage Award on Thursday. The award is given to the player who “best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration.”

Ebner, who tore his ACL late last year, returned this season and played in 15 of the 16 regular-season games. He also totaled a team-high 16 special teams tackles.

When speaking in the locker room Thursday, it was clear how tough the year has been on Ebner given his injury last November.

“It’s been a grind,” he said. “It’s been as hard as any season I’ve had in the league. I can definitely say that. But again, I can’t do it without all the help I get, and I get so much help and support, not only from my teammates, but the training staff and just the whole building is extremely helpful in my progression throughout the entire year. I’ve had a lot of shoulders I’ve been able to lean on throughout the process, so it’s made it a lot easier.”

Matthew Slater was the Patriots' recipient last year, while other players to win the award include Jerod Mayo, Nate Solder and Rob Gronkowski.

"It’s a great honor,” Ebner said. “All the people that have come before me that have won that award, it’s really special to be named amongst that group. It just means a lot. It’s nice to be recognized. And I can name a lot of people in this locker room who deserve something like that and have a great story and work extremely hard. So it’s extremely humbling, and at the same time, I can’t do that without the environment that the Patriots have offered me to work in, from the training staff to the weight room people, all that stuff. It’s a team effort, really, at the end of the day.”

Ebner and award winners from the 31 other NFL teams will be honored at the 41st Annual Ed Block Courage Awards Banquet in Baltimore on March 23, 2019.

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