INDIANAPOLIS -- It was a good year for Patriots head trainer Jim Whalen. His team won the Super Bowl, and it did so in part thanks to a remarkable run of good health.

On Thursday, the good times rolled on for Whalen as he was given the Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding NFL Athletic Trainer of the Year by the NFL Physicians Society.

“Jim is a consummate professional in his interactions with players, coaches, ownership, medical and training staff,” said Dr. Paul Cusick M.D., physician and voting member for the New England Patriots. “Jim is an advocate for the players [and] is both an excellent listener and diagnostician. He is able to pinpoint the source of an injury and then construct a program to rehabilitate the player to minimize time lost and optimize performance and prevent injury.”

The Patriots went stretches late in the 2018 season without a single player unavailable or limited in practice. While bumps and bruises (and more) are inevitable, that the team was able to roll out its top lineup week after week is a credit to the work done by Whalen and his staff, including director of rehabilitation/assistant athletic trainer Joe Van Allen, along with head physician Mark Price, team strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera, nutritionist Ted Harper and others.

Whalen became New England's head athletic trainer in 2002 and has been a part of five Super Bowl-winning teams.

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