INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts defensive end Justin Houston today was named one of 32 player nominees for the seventh annual Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award.
The award is given each year "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," according to a release.
From here, a panel of former NFL players — Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler — will select eight finalists (four each in the AFC and NFC) from the 32 nominees. Those eight finalists will be listed on the Pro Bowl ballot under the NFL Sportsmanship Award category when players vote on Dec. 18.
The winner of the 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award will then be announced during the annual NFL Honors show; he will receive a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.
Houston, 31, is in his 10th NFL season, and his second with the Colts. A third-round (70th-overall) pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Georgia, Houston has been one of the top pass rushers of his era. In 129 career games, Houston has collected 442 total tackles (114 for a loss) with 94.0 sacks, 144 quarterback hits, 16 forced fumbles, 14 fumble recoveries, four interceptions, 32 passes defensed and three safeties forced.
In 2014, Houston, a four-time Pro Bowl selection, earned First-Team All-Pro honors when he logged a league-best 22 sacks, finishing just a half-sack shy of Michael Strahan's single-season NFL record of 22.5 set back in 2001.
After spending the first eight seasons of his career in Kansas City, Houston signed a free agent deal with the Colts last offseason. In 2019, his first year in Indy, Houston led the team with 11.0 sacks; this season, in 11 games, Houston has 16 total tackles (five for a loss) with 4.5 sacks, eight quarterback hits, one fumble recovery and one safety forced.
Houston is looking to become the second Colts player to be selected for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award in its seven-year history; running back Frank Gore captured the award back in 2016. Quarterback Andrew Luck (2018) and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (2019) have also been finalists for the award in recent years.
Others winners have included Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (2014), Oakland Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson (2015) and Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly (2017), New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (2018) and Washington Football Team running back Adrian Peterson (2019).
Here are all 32 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award nominees:
|Arizona Cardinals||S Budda Baker|
|Atlanta Falcons||C Alex Mack|
|Baltimore Ravens||DE Calais Campbell|
|Buffalo Bills||CB Tre'Davious White|
|Carolina Panthera||QB Teddy Bridgewater|
|Chicago Bears||LB Khalil Mack|
|Cincinnati Bengals||LB Josh Bynes|
|Cleveland Browns||RB Nick Chubb|
|Dallas Cowboys||RB Ezekiel Elliott|
|Denver Broncos||CB Bryce Callahan|
|Detroit Lions||C Frank Ragnow|
|Green Bay Packers||QB Aaron Rodgers|
|Houston Texans||DT Brandon Dunn|
|Indianapolis Colts||DE Justin Houston|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||DE/LB Josh Allen|
|Kansas City Chiefs||QB Patrick Mahomes|
|Las Vegas Raiders||QB Derek Carr|
|Los Angeles Chargers||DE Joey Bosa|
|Los Angeles Rams||S John Johnson|
|Miami Dolphins||LB Kyle Van Noy|
|Minnesota Vikings||TE Kyle Rudolph|
|New England Patriots||WR Matthew Slater|
|New Orleans Saints||T Ryan Ramczyk|
|New York Giants||DB Logan Ryan|
|New York Jets||DL Folorunso Fatukasi|
|Philadelphia Eagles||C Jason Kelce|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||DT Cameron Heyward|
|San Francisco 49ers||FB Kyle Juszczyk|
|Seattle Seahawks||LB K.J. Wright|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||LB Lavonte David|
|Tennessee Titans||QB Ryan Tannehill|
|Washington Football Team||WR Terry McLaurin|