FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker was selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2010 Ed Block Courage Award. The honor is voted on by teammates and bestowed annually upon the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. Welker and award winners from the 31 other NFL teams will be honored at the 33rd Annual Ed Block Courage Awards Banquet in Baltimore on March 8, 2011.
Welker suffered a knee injury in the 2009 regular-season finale at Houston and missed New England's postseason game vs. Baltimore. Welker returned from his injury well ahead of expectations and was back in the starting lineup for the season-opener in 2010. He heads into the 2010 season-finale with a team-leading 86 receptions for 848 yards with seven touchdowns. Welker's 86 receptions currently rank fourth in the NFL. Welker, who had three-straight 100-catch seasons from 2007-09, is expected to become the first Patriots player to lead the team in receptions in four straight seasons.
Since joining the Patriots in a trade with Miami in 2007, Welker leads the NFL with 432 receptions (112 in 2007, 111 in 2008 and 123 in 2009), 7.1-receptions per game and 2,557 yards after the catch. He currently ranks fourth on the Patriots all-time reception list. Welker's 123 receptions in 2009 match Herman Moore (Detroit in 1995) for the second most receptions in a single season in NFL history, behind Marvin Harrison's NFL record of 143 receptions with Indianapolis in 2002. Welker joined Harrison (4), Jerry Rice (3), Moore (3) and Brandon Marshall (3) as the only players to catch 100 passes in three consecutive seasons.
Welker originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with San Diego in 2004 out of Texas Tech. He played in one game for San Diego before being released and signing with Miami. Welker was acquired by New England in a trade prior to the 2007 season.
The Ed Block Courage Award is named after Ed Block, a long-time head trainer for the Baltimore Colts and a respected humanitarian dedicated to helping children. Recipients are often players who have overcome devastating injuries or tragedies in their personal lives to return to top-level competition in the NFL.
Officially formulated in 1986, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that is sanctioned by the NFL and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS). The Foundation is committed to heightening awareness of the plight of abused children in cities throughout the league. Proceeds from the annual Courage Awards event benefit the Foundation's Courage House National Support Network For Kids.