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Harry Williams wins Ed Block award


Wide receiver Harry Williams has made a remarkable comeback after a severe neck injury at Dallas during the preseason.

The Houston Texans have selected wide receiver Harry Williams as the 2008 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Recipients are selected by a vote of their teammates to recognize extra efforts both on and off the field and their ability to overcome great adversity.

Williams joins past Texans winners: defensive end Anthony Weaver (2007), linebacker Kailee Wong (2006), wide receiver Jabar Gaffney (2005), defensive tackle Seth Payne (2004), cornerback Aaron Glenn (2003) and cornerback Jason Bell (2002). He will be recognized at the 31st annual Ed Block Courage Awards in March 2009, in Baltimore, Md.

Williams (6-2, 186) was vying for a spot on the Texans' final roster when he was injured in a preseason game against Dallas on Aug. 22, 2008. Williams had a fracture in his C3 vertebrae and ligamentous injury to levels C3 and C4 as he collided with a teammate while making a tackle on kickoff coverage.

He temporarily lost movement of his extremities on the field but later regained his motor functions in an ambulance en route to a nearby hospital. Williams then spent 10 days in Dallas, where he had a cervical spine fusion to repair the ligamentous injury. He was then transferred to the TIRR Rehabilitation Center in Houston, where he spent two weeks going through extensive rehab.

Williams' injury caused a loss of muscle and range of motion. He has spent the past several months in outpatient rehab at TIRR. The 26-year-old Williams still makes time for his teammates, visiting the locker room to cheer them on during the week and on game day. After Williams' injury, coach Gary Kubiak called Williams the Texans' best special teams player during the preseason and said that he had a great chance at making the active roster this year.

Since 1984, the Ed Block Courage Award annually honors one player from every NFL team who exemplifies commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. The Ed Block Courage Award has become one of the most prestigious awards a player can receive because no other national football award is chosen solely by a vote of his peers.

Winners travel to Baltimore to receive their trophy at a gala in their honor and to visit the Ed Block Courage House. The Courage House is a facility that provides support and quality care for abused children and their families in the community. Block was the longtime head athletic trainer for the old Baltimore Colts, who in addition to being a pioneer in athletic training, was passionate about causes helping children.

Houston's Ed Block Courage Award winners:
2008 WR Harry Williams
2007 DE Anthony Weaver
2006 LB Kailee Wong
2005 WR Jabar Gaffney
2004 DT Seth Payne
2003 CB Aaron Glenn
2002 CB Jason Bell

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