SANTA CLARA — Marquise Goodwin said Monday that he was symptom free following a vicious blow to the head a day earlier and that his biggest concern while at a Los Angeles hospital was finding a nurse who could stream the 49ers-Rams game on her phone.
He eventually got to watch the second half, flew back to the Bay Area with teammates after the game and on Monday was told he had won the 49ers’ top honor, the Len Eshmont Award.
The award was established in 1957 and goes to the 49er who best exemplifies the “inspirational and courageous play of Eshmont”, an original member of the inaugural 1946 squad.
Goodwin’s endurance, resolve and tenderness was impressive in 2017. He dealt not only with the loss of his infant son, who was born stillborn in November, but the passing of his father last month in Texas. He didn’t miss a game and toward the end of the season emerged as the 49ers’ best receiver. He finished with a team-high 962 receiving yards and would have had an excellent shot at the 1,000-yard mark if not for the hit that knocked him out of the game just before halftime.
“It’s been a long season, but it’s been a wonderful journey for me,” said Goodwin, 27, who was on his way home to Texas on Monday. “Coming from Buffalo where I didn’t quite get to showcase all my talents. … Being able to break out and accomplish all of the things I’d always wanted to, it’s truly a blessing.”
In four seasons with the Bills, Goodwin never ascended beyond the role of No. 3 receiver. He had 431 yards in his best year there. With the 49ers, Goodwin, who is signed through next season, was the team’s No. 2 receiver, then had to rise to No. 1 status after Pierre Garcon was knocked out for the season in Week 8.
“It proved to me that I was capable of achieving some of the things that I did this year,” he said. “I’m ecstatic about what’s to come in the future.”