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Rams Director of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer Byron Cunningham named PFATS NFC Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year

Rams Director of Rehabilitation/Assistant Athletic Trainer Byron Cunningham has been named the NFC recipient of the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society's (PFATS) 2024 Tim Davey Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year, the organization announced Wednesday.

Cunningham is the second Rams recipient of the award, which has been presented annually since 2011. In his role, he is responsible for the care, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of player injuries in coordination with the head athletic trainer.

"I am so proud of Byron Cunningham for winning the Tim Davey NFC Assistant Athletic Trainer of the Year award," Rams Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance Reggie Scott said. "His authenticity and consistency is inspiring to witness each and every day. The players love him and the Rams medical and performance staff would not be where it's at today if it wasn't for Byron."

Named after longtime New York Jets assistant athletic trainer and team operations employee and NFL game operations employee Tim Davey, who passed away in 2010, the award is "emblematic of the commitment, dedication and high level of integrity that Tim Davey brought to the profession of athletic training and is representative of his level of service which he dedicated to his surrounding community," according to the PFATS website. The recipient is nominated by the PFATS membership and selected by a committee that includes past recipients.

The 2023 season marked Cunningham's 14th with the Rams athletic training department.

During his time with the Rams, he has overseen several critical player rehabilitation programs, including former wide receiver Brian Quick who suffered a potentially career-ending shoulder injury in 2014 and returned to the field in 2015. 

Cunningham was also a member of a Rams athletic training staff that won PFATS' Ed Block NFL Athletic Training Staff of the Year Award in 2015, which is voted on by the PFATS membership and recognizes one NFL athletic training staff annually for their distinguished service to their club, community, and athletic training profession.

Before joining the Rams' staff, Cunningham was the head athletic trainer at the University of Illinois from 2007-09. Prior to that, he was the university's assistant athletic trainer from 2005-07. He spent 2004-05 as the head athletic trainer at Bishop McNamara Catholic High School in Kankakee, Ill., and has experience working internationally as an assistant athletic trainer with NFL Europe's Rhein Fire in 2004.

Additionally, Cunningham interned with the Chicago Bears in 2003, Auburn University from 2001-03 and the Indianapolis Colts during their 2002 training camp.

Cunningham earned a bachelor's degree in physical therapy from Florida A&M University in 1998 and his Master of Sports Science degree in sports medicine from United States Sports Academy in 2002.

He began his professional athletic training career in 2001 at Auburn.

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