In a vote by his teammates, New Orleans Saints tackle Jermon Bushrod has been named the Saints' 2018 Ed Block Courage Award winner, which is given annually to a player from each National Football League team who has persevered through adversity.
Bushrod's teammates voted him as the club's winner based on their respect and admiration for his persistence through an extremely difficult time for him and his family. The 12-year NFL veteran and his wife Jessica, lost their daughter Jordyn Lynn Bushrod on October 18, days after she was born.
Despite the tragic events that have affected Bushrod and his family, Bushrod has been there for his teammates as well as them being here for them. Originally a fourth round draft pick of the Saints in 2007 out of Towson, Bushrod spent his first six NFL seasons with the club, rounding into being the club's starting left tackle from 2009-12, being selected to two Pro Bowls during that period. Following stints with the Chicago Bears (2013-15) and Miami Dolphins (2016-17), Bushrod re-signed with the Saints in the offseason. Following an injury to starting left tackle Terron Armstead in a Week 10 game, Bushrod stepped back into the spot and has opened the last four contests at the position, with the Saints putting together a 4-1 mark with him playing left tackle.
"Obviously this has been one of the toughest times for myself and my family, but at the end of the day I felt it was important to be here for my teammates" said Bushrod. "While I appreciate their recognition in voting me as the club winner of the Ed Block Courage Award, I would like to thank my them back. The love and support of my teammates, their significant others and the entire Saints organization the last couple months has been very important in helping our family deal with and work through the best we can the traumatic loss of our daughter."
Each year the Ed Block Courage Awards honor those players who overcome adversity on the field, possess strong character and a will to endure life's trials, and who continuously strive for excellence on and off the field. The award is named after Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. All 32 of this year's Ed Block Courage Award recipients – one from each team – will be honored at a banquet next spring in Baltimore. Proceeds from the event benefit abused children of the Courage House National Support Network.