Photo by Tony Gonzales
Offensive lineman Khalif Barnes has earned the Raiders 2013 Ed Block Courage Award. The nine-year NFL veteran sustained a groin injury in Week 2 of the 2012 season and underwent surgery. Barnes returned to the starting lineup November 18, 2012. In the first week of December, Barnes sustained another injury, this time to his triceps. He fought through the injury and finished the season as the starter.
"Khalif had two significant medical situations during the 2012 season that took courage, dedication, and great strength to finish the 2012 season and to return for the 2013 season," wrote Raiders head athletic trainer H. Rod Martin. "Khalif's discipline and passion was the correct combination for a successful rehab."
Barnes re-signed with the Raiders during the off-season and was a go-to offensive lineman throughout 2013. Barnes started all 16 games, the fifth time in his career he's started every regular season game. Due to injuries on the line, he played left tackle and left guard after starting primarily at right tackle throughout his career. Barnes was the only Raiders offensive player to play every play during the 2013 season. He helped the Raiders rank 12th in the NFL in rushing with a career best 733 yards from RB Rashad Jennings and a Raiders QB best 576 rushing yards for Terrelle Pryor.
The Ed Block Courage Award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. In 1989, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation formulated the Courage House National Support Network for Kids. The Fred Finch Youth Center is the Raiders Courage House.
The 36th Annual Ed Block Courage Awards will take place March 17, 2014, at Martin's West in Baltimore.