The Cincinnati Bengals have named defensive end Robert Geathers as the recipient of their 2013 Ed Block Courage Award.
Ed Block was a former head athletic training of the Baltimore Colts from 1954-1977 who is often remembered for significant contributions to helping improving the lives of children, standing for "courage and championed the cause of those who displayed that characteristic."
The award honors players who demonstrate commitment to the values of sportsmanship and courage. Each NFL team selects one player as its nominee. Geathers will be honored with other teams’ recipients at the annual awards banquet in Baltimore after the 2013 season.
The veteran defensive end’s 2013 season was cut short, when in Game 2, Sept. 16 vs. Pittsburgh, he suffered a torn triceps muscle. He had season-ending surgery in September, but is projected to be ready for most if not all of the team’s offseason work.
"Robert has been a pleasure to work with since he arrived in 2004," said Bengals head athletic trainer Paul Sparling. "He’s a guy who plays hard and plays every game that he possibly can, and the two times in his career when he’s had a serious injury, he has responded like a true pro."
Geathers played in 74 straight games before a knee injury requiring surgery that ended his season in late 2008. He picked up where he left off in 2009 and played in 52 of the next 55 games before being sidelined in this year’s first Pittsburgh game.
"Robert is a quiet leader and a great role model for younger players," Sparling said. "He’s the epitome of a professional in every sense of the word.
Geathers, a tenth-year pro in 2013, entered the season as the longest tenured Bengal after resigning as an unrestricted free agent prior to the season. He started all 16 games in 2012 and has been primarily a starter throughout his Bengals career. He has 104 starts in his 136 career games.
Geathers entered the NFL in 2004 as a fourth round draft choice by the Bengals out of the University of Georgia. A two-time team leader in sacks, Geathers is one of eight Bengals to have 10 or more sacks in a season, having registered 10.5 in 2006. He also holds the team record for fumble return yards in a season, with 133 in 2009.
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