Colts defensive tackle DeForest Buckner on Tuesday was named one of 32 nominees for the 2022 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which is given annually to "an NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition."
Buckner was the Colts' nominee in 2021 as well.
Since debuting in the NFL in 2016, Buckner has established himself as one of the league's best, most disruptive and productive defensive tackles. His 50 1/2 sacks are the third-most among defensive tackles since 2016, and he's totaled 132 quarterback hits and 63 tackles for a loss in that span as well. Buckner was named to Pro Bowl rosters in 2018 and 2021 and earned First-Team AP All-Pro honors with the Colts in 2020. Buckner has also been voted by his peers to NFL Network's annual Top 100 players list for three consecutive years, ranking No. 56 in 2020, No. 27 in 2021 and No. 66 in 2022.
Buckner in 2022 has 5 1/2 sacks, 14 quarterback hits and five tackles for a loss along with a forced fumble and two pass break-ups.
The Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award was created in 2014 in honor of the late Pittsburgh Steelers owner and Hall of Famer Art Rooney Sr. Eight finalists – four from the NFC and four from the AFC – will be selected by a panel of players from the NFL Legends Community: Warrick Dunn, Larry Fitzgerald, Curtis Martin and Leonard Wheeler.
"These Rooney Sportsmanship Award nominees exemplify the fiercest competition combined with the excellence of sportsmanship, said Troy Vincent, EVP of Football Operations of the NFL. "It reflects the very values of respect, resilience, and fairness that inspire both teammates and opponents to be the best in the world."