As the occasional snowflake fluttered through the air and landed on a makeshift football field, Jahvid Best once again stood on the sideline, watching others play the game he loves.

This day, it was his choice. The Detroit Lions running back, who hasn't played a game since October 2011 because of multiple concussions, was one of 17 NFL players who visited St. Vincent's Villa in Timonium on Sunday morning. As Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt captained teams of children, Best laughed, cheered and tried to stay warm.

Best and his peers are in Baltimore for Monday night's Ed Block Courage Awards Foundation banquet at Martin's West. The foundation, which benefits abused, neglected and at-risk kids like the ones who got to play football and shoot hoops with their heroes Sunday, will honor 32 players, one from each team, at its 35th annual banquet.

Each player was selected by his teammates for overcoming some kind of adversity — usually a major injury like the torn Achilles that linebacker Terrell Suggs, the Ravens' honoree, returned from — during the 2012 season. Best is the only one who did not play in a game, though.

"It's a huge honor," he said. "All the hard work I put in then to have the letdown that I experienced. Having my teammates appreciate all of the hard work that I have put in, it means a lot to me."

But Best doesn't know if all the hard work will result in a return to the NFL.

One of the more prominent faces of the NFL's concussions crisis, Best suffered a serious concussion during his senior season at California and two more during the 2011 season. After attempting to make a comeback in 2012, he was placed on injured reserve in November.