The Houston Texans have selected T Derek Newton as the 2017 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Recipients are selected by a vote of their teammates to recognize extra efforts both on and off the field and their ability to overcome great adversity.
Newton ruptured the patellar tendon in both knees in a Monday Night Football game against the Denver Broncos in Week 7 last season. The seven-year NFL veteran has since undergone 14 months of grueling rehab consisting of eight-hour days in an unprecedented attempt to return to the football field in 2018.
"From the beginning, Derek has been an inspiration to all of his teammates and everyone in the building," said Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Geoff Kaplan. "Since the moment he was injured and throughout the entire rehabilitation process, Derek has been steadfast in his devotion to an eventual return to the field."
A seventh-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft, Newton quickly became one of the most versatile and durable players on the Texans offensive line. He has appeared in 82 games and made 68 career starts, including a 56-game start streak from 2012-16, which marked the fifth-longest active streak in the league at the time. Newton has played both tackle positions and both guard spots and has been called for holding just nine times in his career.
"It's an honor to be chosen by my teammates to win the Ed Block Courage Award," said Newton. "It's a very humbling experience to know these guys have supported me from the outset, and it gives me extra motivation to get back out there with them as soon as I can."
The Ed Block Courage Award, established in 1984 and given to one player from every NFL team, honors players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Newton joins past Texans winners T Duane Brown (2016), OLB/DE Jadeveon Clowney (2015), G David Quessenberry (2014), ILB Brian Cushing (2013), QB Matt Schaub (2012), LB DeMeco Ryans (2011), TE Joel Dreessen (2010), LB Zac Diles (2009), WR Harry Williams (2008), DE Anthony Weaver (2007), LB Kailee Wong (2006), WR Jabar Gaffney (2005), DT Seth Payne (2004), CB Aaron Glenn (2003) and CB Jason Bell (2002). He will be recognized at the 40th annual Ed Block Courage Awards in March.
The Ed Block Courage Award has become one of the most prestigious awards a player can receive because no other national football award is chosen solely by a vote of his peers. Winners travel to Baltimore to receive their trophy at a gala in their honor and to visit the Ed Block Courage House. The Courage House is a facility that provides support and quality care for abused children and their families in the community. Block was the longtime head athletic trainer for the old Baltimore Colts, who in addition to being a pioneer in athletic training, was passionate about causes helping children.
HOUSTON'S ED BLOCK COURAGE AWARD WINNERS:
2017 T Derek Newton
2016 T Duane Brown
2015 DE Jadeveon Clowney
2014 G David Quessenberry
2013 ILB Brian Cushing
2012 QB Matt Schaub
2011 ILB DeMeco Ryans
2010 TE Joel Dreessen
2009 LB Zac Diles
2008 WR Harry Williams
2007 DE Anthony Weaver
2006 LB Kailee Wong
2005 WR Jabar Gaffney
2004 DT Seth Payne
2003 CB Aaron Glenn
2002 CB Jason Bell