In a vote by his teammates, New Orleans Saints linebacker Kwon Alexander has been named the club's 2021 Ed Block Courage Award winner, which is given annually to a player from each National Football League team who has persevered through adversity.
Alexander's teammates voted him as the club's winner based on his work ethic and perseverance in successfully rehabilitating from a ruptured Achilles tendon injury suffered in the team's victory over the Minnesota Vikings on December 25, 2020. Shortly thereafter, Alexander would have surgery, facing an extensive rehabilitation period for an injury that can often sideline a player up to a full year.
Alexander underwent a rigorous rehabilitation process throughout the 2021 offseason, with the team prior to free agency and on his own in South Florida in the bulk of the spring and early summer. He was re-signed by the Saints on August 4 and returned to the practice field shortly thereafter, less than eight months after suffering the injury. Alexander returned to the starting lineup for the team's season-opening 38-3 win over Green Bay on September 12.
Alexander, who was acquired by New Orleans at midseason in 2020 from San Francisco after originally being selected by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a fourth round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft out of LSU, is a seven-year veteran who has played in 76 career regular season games with 72 starts and has posted 543 tackles (385 solo), 12.5 sacks, eight interception returns for 123 yards with one touchdown, 32 tackles, ten forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.
Alexander also worked through an elbow injury he suffered in the season opener to miss only four games and returned to the lineup in Week Seven for a Monday Night Football victory at the Seattle Seahawks. Overall, Alexander has posted 40 tackles (30 solo), three sacks, one interception and two passes defensed for a defense ranked first in the NFL in opponent yards per rush and opponent red zone touchdown percentage, fourth in opponent points per game and fifth in opponent rushing yards per game.