On Tuesday, the Eagles announced that Jeremy Maclin has been named the recipient of the team's 2014 Ed Block Courage Award. Here's a look back at Maclin's return to football following his 2013 knee injury ...
It means a lot to me to know that my teammates recognized the dedication and hard work I put in to be named this year's recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award. It's a prestigious honor in the league and I'm proud and grateful. I know that my teammates have my back every day, and I'm not sure that every player in the National Football League can say that.
I think back to the injury and the days after and it was very hard. I put in a lot of time alongside guys like Jason Phillips, Arrelious Benn and Philip Hunt, who are gone from the team now. I want to thank the entire training staff for helping me, with a particular nod to Joe O'Pella for the work and the time he put in with me. The coaching staff and the entire organization really supported me. My family was there for me the whole time, as they always are. It was truly a group effort and I recognize that.
The injury happened on a Saturday and I was devastated. I was emotional. I talked to my family, I talked to my mom, I talked to Chip Kelly and I talked to Howie Roseman and then, and this is the truth, I put it all behind me the next day. I accepted that it happened and I set about attacking the work that was ahead of me.
It certainly wasn't easy. There were plenty of rough days. There were days when I didn't feel like working and days when I was sore and times when my knee felt so bad that I thought that I would never get back to where I was prior to the injury. All of that and more went through my mind.
But my supporting cast helped me get through those times. When we had home games I was on the sidelines and I watched my teammates and I felt like I was part of the team. When we played on the road, for the most part, I stayed home and watched the games on TV and coached and imagined what it would be like if I was playing and helping the team.
All of that was a process and it took a full season to complete. Once I got back on the field for practice in the spring, I felt great. I made so much progress. I was so happy being back on the field playing the game that I love and I'm playing that way now. I appreciate every minute of it.
To be part of this team and this organization, it's just great. I've always wanted to be someone that my teammates and coaches can always rely on, and I have done that. I want to be out there and be reliable for my team and that's pretty much all I can do.
The honor is something I appreciate and respect very much. This is a highlight for me in my life and my career and I'm thankful to have had so much help to return to the field and play for the Eagles.