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New Orleans Saints 2016 season recap: Tim Hightower

Posted Jan 21, 2017

Hightower part of team's 1-2 punch at running back

The fact that Tim Hightower was voted by his teammates to be the recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award tells much of what needs to be known about the running back.

The honoree is considered the player who best exemplifies the principles of courage and sportsmanship while also serving as a source of inspiration. And Hightower, who missed three NFL seasons (2012-14) while recovering from knee injuries, remains an inspiration.

He remains a solid contributor, too.

Hightower again was a part of the Saints’ 1-2 punch with Mark Ingram at running back, adding 548 rushing yards and four touchdowns to Ingram’s career-high 1,043 yards and six scores. The duo also combined for 68 catches and 519 receiving yards, with five touchdowns; Hightower contributed 22-200-1 to the equation, including a career-long, 50-yard touchdown catch on a pass thrown by receiver Willie Snead IV.

He has been a model pro, consummate teammate and mature spokesman for the Saints, as well as an inspiration. But, just as much, he continues to display the skills that allow him be a notable part of what the Saints do offensively.

BEST GAME: For purposes of nostalgia, it might have been the 11-carry, 37-yard, two-touchdown game Hightower had in a 48-41 road victory against Arizona, the team that drafted him in the fifth round in 2008. But even that game is hard-pressed to supplant his effort against Seattle. With Ingram benched in the first quarter after losing a fumble for the second straight game, Hightower pounded away behind the offensive line for 102 yards on 26 carries in the 25-20 victory.

BEST QUOTE: “I don't know that I've been part of a team with a more worthy Ed Block candidate than Tim Hightower. With what he's been through and how he's overcome, if you knew all that he's been through and all he's overcome, if you heard him speak about his story, it's pretty impressive. It didn't make for an easy vote, but it made just so much sense." – Coach Sean Payton