Chris Kuper has been through a ton.
It's why the starting right guard and captain of the team was named the Ed Block Courage award winner Tuesday for “exemplifying a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship,” DenverBroncos.com explains.
"It's great,” Kuper said of the honor. “Obviously you don't want to be in that situation because that means you've kind of had to fight through some injuries or adversity, but to be recognized as a guy who will do that, I think that's just part of being a professional."
Kuper's batted through a bum ankle, a broken forearm, another injured ankle and even migraines to make his way to the field for part of seven games this season, and he's a huge piece to the Broncos line's run and pass-blocking success.
Now it looks like he could return to the playing field for the first time since Week 14, which would mean playing in his first ever playoff game.
“I feel good, yeah,” the seven-year veteran said following practice Tuesday. “I'm doing my best to get out there to get ready to go.
“This is what I’ve been pointing toward since I got here,” he continued. “I started last year with an injury. I was doing everything I could during the season to come back.
"To be available for the playoffs is big.”
If he can go, it will be a big boost to Peyton Manning's pass protection against a Ravens defensive front that continually put pressure on Andrew Luck, disallowing the Colts to score a touchdown in the Wildcard win. It will also aid the run game, as Kuper is one of the best at opening holes for his backs.
Update: Kuper was a full participant in Wednesday's practice, meaning he's even more likely to play this week for Denver. There's no official listing, but if I had to guess, he would be "probable."
The Divisional round game is set for a 2:30 p.m. MT kickoff at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium this Saturday. The playoff will be televised on CBS.
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Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. You can follow Rich on twitter or facebook for all your Denver Broncos news and opinion.