Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson gets the Ed Block Courage Award
He updated that his cast would come off on Thursday and would be limited to a splint. Although he broke both the tibia and fibula in the accident, he was off the pain meds a few days ago and is in great form, except for the left arm.
But on Tuesday at the award dinner held at Ford Field, he said that he would as usual work towards recovering fast and getting back to hit the field as soon as possible. Burleson has now won the award twice. He also won it in 2009 while recovering from a torn ACL with the Seahawks.
“When I get back, I’m still going to try to go after that 1,000 yards,” the wide receiver said. “So that means I’ve got to have enough games to do it, which means I should be back soon.”
Burleson had 19 receptions in three games, so his injury did affect the team at some level. During the award dinner, he revisited the incident in which he broke his leg and had to sit out the final 10 games last year. Even so, he was back in action during the offseason workout and training camp, which won the respect and the award for him.
He did have some thoughts to share about his injury.
“That’s the toughest part. We can sit here and smile in front of the cameras and talk to you guys all day long, but we don’t often tell you about the time where we’re questioning every decision we’ve ever made and we’re thinking about the last route we ran just trying to get a grasp on reality emotionally,” he said. “And I think for this award I’m able to kind of relive all of that appreciate everybody who voted for me and making it back.”
Reflecting on the award, he said “I think a lot of people see athletes get injured and they just expect us back. The one thing I can appreciate about the Courage Award is the journey that goes from the time you’re injured until the time you actually make it back on to the field and not just the physical rehabilitation, but the emotional.