Former Georgia Bulldog (and current Detroit Lion) Matthew Stafford won an Espy award Wednesday night for best comeback.
Stafford, who suffered shoulder and leg injuries in his first two NFL seasons, started every game for the Lions last year, throwing for more than 5,000 yards and leading the team to its first playoff appearance in more than a decade.Stafford was accompanied by his girlfriend, Kelly Hall, and credited his teammates and the Lions organization.
“I just want to thank my teammates,” he said. “It was a long couple of years and they stuck with me — the coaching staff, the owners, the GM, everybody. I can’t thank them enough for sticking with me, trusting me and understanding something great can happen.”
He also lauded the city of Detroit, which he said “is on a comeback of its own.”
“The city has been through a lot and we’re just one of the teams there that are trying to make them happy and proud, give them something to cheer for,” he said.
Stafford passed for more than 7,700 yards and 51 TDs during his three years at Georgia. He left after his junior year and was selected No. 1 overall by the Lions in the 2009 NFL draft.
Former Georgia Tech receiver Demaryius Thomas played a supporting role in another Espy. He caught the 80-yard pass from Denver QB Tim Tebow to beat the Steelers in last year’s AFC playoffs, a play that earned Tebow the award for “Best Moment.”
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