Colts Nominate Justin Houston For 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

The Indianapolis Colts have nominated defensive end Justin Houston for the 2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which 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."


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:

Table inside Article
Arizona CardinalsS Budda Baker
Atlanta FalconsC Alex Mack
Baltimore RavensDE Calais Campbell
Buffalo BillsCB Tre'Davious White
Carolina PantheraQB Teddy Bridgewater
Chicago BearsLB Khalil Mack
Cincinnati BengalsLB Josh Bynes
Cleveland BrownsRB Nick Chubb
Dallas CowboysRB Ezekiel Elliott
Denver BroncosCB Bryce Callahan
Detroit LionsC Frank Ragnow
Green Bay PackersQB Aaron Rodgers
Houston TexansDT Brandon Dunn
Indianapolis ColtsDE Justin Houston
Jacksonville JaguarsDE/LB Josh Allen
Kansas City ChiefsQB Patrick Mahomes
Las Vegas RaidersQB Derek Carr
Los Angeles ChargersDE Joey Bosa
Los Angeles RamsS John Johnson
Miami DolphinsLB Kyle Van Noy
Minnesota VikingsTE Kyle Rudolph
New England PatriotsWR Matthew Slater
New Orleans SaintsT Ryan Ramczyk
New York GiantsDB Logan Ryan
New York JetsDL Folorunso Fatukasi
Philadelphia EaglesC Jason Kelce
Pittsburgh SteelersDT Cameron Heyward
San Francisco 49ersFB Kyle Juszczyk
Seattle SeahawksLB K.J. Wright
Tampa Bay BuccaneersLB Lavonte David
Tennessee TitansQB Ryan Tannehill
Washington Football TeamWR Terry McLaurin

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