Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck has been selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2016 Ed Block Courage Award.
The award is an annual recognition for courageous play by an individual and Luck is one of 32 National Football League players who earned the accolade. The players of each member club nominate an individual annually and those chosen are honored at a banquet in Baltimore each March.
The Colts had 2015 recipient Joe Reitz introduce Luck as this year's honoree after the team's post-bye week practice on Monday.
"It's more than well deserving," Chuck Pagano said of Luck. "He's the epitome of consummate pro. He's a great team leader. What he does on the field, what he does the off the field, the way he gives back. All we talk about around here is team first, self second and doing the right thing on and off the field."
"Coming back from what he came back from, he's the epitome of that award and certainly well deserved."
Said Luck: "It is an honor. It is very special anytime your teammates recognize you for anything. When you play a team sport I think the respect of your teammates and your peers is a two-way street and has always been the most special part of being on a team. Anytime they recognize you for something I feel like it is an honor."
Luck has started all 64 games he has played in since being selected by the Colts with the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. He has completed 1,445-of-2,453 passes for 17,403 yards with 118 touchdowns and 62 interceptions for an 86.2 passer rating. Luck has also amassed 1,325 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Despite missing nine games in the 2015 season due to injury, Luck ranks in the top 10 in NFL history in passing touchdowns (fifth), yards (10th) and completions (10th) among quarterbacks over their first five seasons in the league.
Luck is passionate about impacting the lives of the children of Indiana and is a strong supporter of Riley Hospital For Children at Indiana University in Indianapolis. He frequently visits with patients at the hospital and serves as a spokesperson for Riley Hospital Change the Play, which encourages kids to challenge themselves to make better choices when it comes to food and exercise. A voracious reader, Luck also started the Andrew Luck Book Club in April of 2016 to spread the importance of reading. He periodically recommends a book for younger readers and a book for adult readers and hosts a live Q&A via social media to discuss the readings. Luck has also taken his philanthropic endeavors abroad and participated in the 2015 Winter USO Tour, where he visited US servicemen and servicewomen in different stops around the world.
The award is named after Ed Block who was the head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts from 1954-1977. He served as trainer emeritus with the club until he passed away in 1983.
Past winners of the award dating back to 2000, include: G/T-Joe Reitz (2015), TE-Dwayne Allen (2014), DE-Cory Redding (2013), S-Antoine Bethea (2012), DE-Robert Mathis (2011), DE-Dwight Freeney (2010), DB-Marlin Jackson (2009), C-Jeff Saturday (2008), OG-Ryan Lilja (2007), WR-Reggie Wayne (2006), LB-Cato June (2005), LB-Gary Brackett (2004), DE-Chad Bratzke (2003), LB-Rob Morris (2002), QB-Peyton Manning (2001) and DT-Bernard Whittington (2000).
The 39th annual Ed Block Courage Award dinner is scheduled for Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Baltimore. Proceeds from the affair benefit the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation in Baltimore. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation's objective is to establish homes for abused children in each NFL city. Indianapolis established an Ed Block Courage home (Children's Bureau) in October of 2000. The home is part of a national support network for abused children.