The man and his staff who brought back Adrian Peterson, Teddy Bridgewater, and will bring back Dalvin Cook are being rewarded for their incredible work. Eric Sugarman, who is the Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer, and the rest of the Minnesota Vikings training staff are being awarded the Ed Block Courage Award NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year.
This is a very special award because all 32 NFL athletic training staff and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society vote on who will receive this award.
Sugarman spoke with Vikings.com about his feelings on winning this award. “It is always very gratifying to be honored by your peers. Because of that, we feel that it is the highest of honors. We have always taken pride in treating our players with the respect, honesty and gold standard care they deserve. To be recognized for that is very humbling for all of us.”
But Sugarman isn’t alone for the top care that the Vikings players receive. His staff includes: Tom Hunkele, Coordinator of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer; Rob Roche, Assistant Athletic Trainer; David Jantzi, Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist and Albert Padilla, Assistant Athletic Trainer.
Sugarman is proud of this team and is honored that they will be givien this award in Baltimore. This is the first time Sugarman and his staff will receive this award and the second time in the team’s history.
“This is a team award,” Sugarman added. “The gratitude should go to all of my assistants, and the team physicians, whom I believe are the absolute best in the business. The support of the Wilf ownership group, [General Manager] Rick Spielman, the front office and Coach [Mike] Zimmer is always unwavering. It takes a village to succeed at this job. We are fortunate to have terrific independent consultants, massage therapists, chiropractors and a nutritionist who contribute to our success.”