Duane Brown is the Texans 2016 Ed Block Courage Award Winner.
The left tackle, who won the award after battling back from a quadriceps injury that sidelined him all offseason and through the first four games of 2016, was very grateful for the honor.
"I'm very thankful for my teammates voting me for this award," Brown said. "It's been a long year working back from the injury that I had and I'm grateful to be at this point, so thankful for my teammates for the vote and I'm very appreciative."
A stabilizing force on the left side of the offensive line, his return to the lineup helped turn the Texans' run
game around this season. In addition to the on-field accomplishments through adversity, the award also recognizes the recipient's contributions to the community. Brown has annually helped the United Way with a reading program, and earlier this season he and some teammates and team chairman/founder/CEO Bob McNair met with the Houston Police Department to discuss ways to bolster relations in the community.
"Duane is one of the unquestioned leaders of this team," head coach Bill O'Brien said. "He came back from a very difficult injury and he's playing at a high level so again congratulations to Duane on that award."
Cornerback Kareem Jackson was excited for Brown.
"He had a tremendous year," Jackson said. "Definitely one of the team leaders. One of the hearts and soul of the offense. I'm excited to see him come back the way he did."
Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney won the award last season. In 2014, Clowney's rookie campaign was ended with knee microfracture surgery. He said he never forgot the influence Brown had on him then, and in his road back to the gridiron. He was there to support Brown over the offseason as the left tackle came back from the quad injury.
"After having an injury, he didn't lose a step and he came out there looking just as good as he did before he left," Clowney said. "I was just like, this is kind of crazy how he came back and didn't give up anything. He's still one of the best tackles to me in the game. I go against him and I say that to him every day: 'Boy, you're good.' But he works hard, man. He does things - others guys don't see the little things. That's what makes him a great player."
Brown appreciated that his teammates voted on the honor, and explained what it meant to him.
"Very special because at the end of the day, I think we all want the respect and the admiration of our peers," Brown said. "I think we go out there on Sunday, that's who I do it for, I do it for my teammates. I kept that in the back of my mind throughout the whole rehab process, just getting back out there with my guys. I'm very thankful for them voting me for this award."
In March, Brown will be recognized in Baltimore at the 39th annual Ed Block Courage Award ceremony.
Check out the best shots from Wednesday's practice as the Texans prepare for the Bengals.