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Niles Paul Receives Ed Block Courage Award

Posted Mar 13, 2017

Redskins tight end Niles Paul was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner after coming back healthy from a gruesome ankle injury.

Redskins tight end Niles Paul was named the team's Ed Block Courage Award winner after coming back healthy from a gruesome ankle injury.

On March 6, 2015, the Washington Redskins rewarded tight end Niles Paul with a new contract off his rookie deal that was signed in 2011.

While Paul originally joined the Redskins as a wide receiver, the Nebraska product converted to tight end for the 2012 season.

It certainly was a difficult transition, putting on weight and bulking up to stop pass rushers at the line, but Paul’s growth was steady.

During the start of the 2014 season with Jordan Reed sidelined following a Week 1 injury against the Houston Texans, Paul had the most productive year of his career, catching 39 passes for 507 yards and a touchdown.

The hope was for that production to carry over into the 2015 season, and, in fact, Paul was named the No. 1 tight end on the first unofficial depth chart of the year, but in Washington’s preseason opener against the Cleveland Browns, Paul suffered a dislocated ankle and was ruled out for the entire regular season.

At his postgame press conference, head coach Jay Gruden was clearly shaken by Paul’s injury calling it “a huge loss for us.”

“One, he’s a great player who has worked so hard to get where he is, and two, he’s a great leader for this football team,” Gruden said. “The staff and players are sick about it right now. He’s going to be okay, but it’s a major loss. It puts a lot of pressure on us, but we’ll have to make due. It’s hard for us on the field and off the field, but he’s going to work hard to get himself right.”

The injury, however, didn’t deter Paul from working his hardest to get back onto the field healthy. By offseason workouts, Paul was already working drills again.  

Paul would appear in eight games during the 2016 season, earning the role of special teams captain in the process.

“It was an injury where the foot and ankle specialist thought it was one of the most significant injuries he had ever seen, but with Niles’ hard work, dedication and determination to get back on the field, he was able to start the 2016 regular season and play at the high level that he is capable of playing,” Redskins head athletic trainer Larry Hess said. “It’s just a testament to how tough Niles is and how determined he was to recover from an injury of that significance.”

Additionally, new Redskins defensive lineman Terrell McClain was named the Dallas Cowboys’ 2016 Ed Block Courage Award selection.

McClain appeared in just two games during the 2015 season before a toe injury sidelined him after just two games.

REDSKINS ED BLOCK COURAGE AWARD WINNERS

  • 2016 Niles Paul
  • 2015 Morgan Moses
  • 2014 Keenan Robinson
  • 2013 Robert Griffin III
  • 2012 Kory Lichtensteiger
  • 2011 Stephen Bowen
  • 2010 Ma’ake Kemoeatu
  • 2009 Phillip Daniels
  • 2008 Reed Doughty
  • 2007 Marcus Washington
  • 2006 Randy Thomas
  • 2005 Khary Campbell
  • 2004 Brandon Noble
  • 2003 Fred Smoot
  • 2002 Chris Samuels
  • 2001 Cory Raymer
  • 2000 James Thrash
  • 1999 Tre’ Johnson
  • 1998 Darrell Green
  • 1997 James Jenkins
  • 1996 Ed Simmons
  • 1995 Keith Taylor
  • 1994 Mark Schlereth
  • 1993 Art Monk
  • 1992 Anthony Johnson
  • 1991 Donnie Warren
  • 1990 Joe Jacoby
  • 1989 Neil Olkewicz
  • 1988 Doug Williams
  • 1987 Mel Kaufman
  • 1986 Darryl Grant
  • 1985 Ken Huff
  • 1984 Mark May

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