INDIANAPOLIS —Indianapolis Colts defensive end Jabaal Sheard has been selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2019 Ed Block Courage Award.
The award is an annual recognition for courageous play by an individual, and Sheard 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.
"It's an honor to receive this award, especially since it was voted on by the guys in this locker room," said Sheard. "I read up on the award and just to be included in this select group is incredible. To be included with names like Peyton Manning and Dwight Freeney is amazing. I am honored to represent the Colts and be one of the 32 award winners. I am so thankful to be able to give back to the Indianapolis community, which has given so much back to me over the past three years."
"This award is voted on by your teammates, which only emphasizes how much respect we have for him," said Colts tight end Jack Doyle, the team's 2018 Ed Block Courage Award selection. He had a tough injury in camp and came back from it not only on the field, but continued to give back to the community throughout the entire season. He is the ultimate professional and delivers remarkable sportsmanship and dedication every single day."
Sheard has played in 41 games (40 starts) in three seasons (2017-19) with the Colts and has totaled 122 tackles (91 solo), 26.0 tackles for loss, 14.5 sacks, nine passes defensed and two forced fumbles. In 2018, Sheard was selected by the Colts to be their nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which recognizes NFL players for outstanding community service activities off the field as well as excellence on the field.
Sheard has made a constant impact in the Indianapolis community since arriving in 2017. In 2019, Sheard has hosted two football camps, attended Microsoft coding classes with youth from A Kid Again and Tony's Firefighters and also went to Germany for American Football Without Barriers. During his time in Indianapolis, he has been an active participant in Community Mondays and has participated in the Colts' playground build, Hispanic Heritage Month Football Camp and has served in social justice efforts through the Colts' Breaking Barriers campaign. In 2017, he launched the Jabaal Sheard Foundation with the goal of impacting disadvantaged children and providing them with opportunities in the field of educational advancement and healthy living.
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: TE-Jack Doyle (2018), S-Clayton Geathers (2017), QB-Andrew Luck (2016), 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 42nd annual Ed Block Courage Awards Gala is scheduled from March 26-28, 2020 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.