Injuries have limited Ameer Abdullah over his first two seasons in the NFL, but the former Nebraska running back has made a strong impression on his team nonetheless.
On Friday, the Detroit Lions announced that Abdullah would receive the Ed Block Courage Award, given each year to a player who “exemplifies sportsmanship and has overcome injury and/or adversity to excel on the field,” according to the team website.
After being selected in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Abdullah enjoyed a solid rookie season, with 597 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, despite playing through a shoulder injury. His second campaign was wiped out almost fully by a foot injury suffered in Week 2. After months of rehab, he returned this fall to carry 15 times in a Week 1 win over the Arizona Cardinals, then broke out against the New York Giants in Week 2 with 17 carries for a career-high 86 yards.
“The same patience, discipline, hard work and passion he displays in his play and recovery from injury he also utilizes as cornerstones for life outside of football,” Detroit Lions trainer Kevin Bastin said, via the team website. “Ameer is deeply involved in the Detroit community and is a true difference-maker in the lives and causes that he embraces. Though he has faced his own challenges, Ameer uses his platform to help and support those deserving of a better life.”