The Houston Texans have selected OL Justin Britt as the 2021 Ed Block Courage Award winner. Houston’s IMPACT Team also awarded three players for their work in the community during the 2021 season: TE Jeff Driskel was named the 2021 IMPACT Newcomer of the Year, LB Garret Wallow was named the 2021 IMPACT Rookie of the Year and QB Tyrod Taylor was named the 2021 IMPACT Community MVP. Additionally, the Texans Strength & Conditioning Staff was given the Staff IMPACT Award for their departments’ work in the community.
Recipients of The Ed Block Courage Award are selected by a vote of their teammates to recognize extra efforts both on and off the field and their ability to overcome great adversity. The award, established in 1984 and given to one player from every NFL team, honors players who exemplify commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Britt, who missed all of the 2020 season as he recovered from a torn ACL sustained in his final year with the Seattle Seahawks in October 2019, joins past Texans winners Dylan Cole (2020), Justin Reid (2019), Andre Hal (2018), Derek Newton (2017), Duane Brown (2016), Jadeveon Clowney (2015), David Quessenberry (2014), Brian Cushing (2013), Matt Schaub (2012), DeMeco Ryans (2011), Joel Dreessen (2010), Zac Diles (2009), Harry Williams (2008), Anthony Weaver (2007), Kailee Wong (2006), Jabar Gaffney (2005), Seth Payne (2004), Aaron Glenn (2003) and Jason Bell (2002).
Driskel completed the most community service hours by taking part in Texans community events almost every player off day of the season. With opportunities ranging from visiting schools, handing out meals to veterans in need or visits to the Boys & Girls Club, Driskel was incredibly consistent and often brought his family to take part in serving. In the offseason, Driskel can be found lifting the sprits of hospital patients back home at the Orlando Health Foundation, which he also represented on his ‘My Cause My Cleats’ this season.
Growing up a Boys & Girls Club kid in Hampton Virginia, creating a deep connection with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Houston was a priority for Taylor. He started off the year by purchasing 40 tickets and parking passes for all Texans home games this season for Boys & Girls Club families, distributing turkeys and Thanksgiving sides to more than 200 Boys & Girls Club and YMCA families and giving 75 Boys & Girls Club kids an unforgettable holiday party complete with gingerbread house making kits, gift cards and raffles for his game worn gear. Throughout the course of this season in Houston and throughout his NFL career, Taylor has proven to be a champion for youth and impacting others.
Wallow made an immediate impact in the Houston community this season through spending time with underserved youth, military and more. Most notably, he spent time volunteering to create care packages and notes of encouragement to those undergoing breast cancer treatment at the Houston area American Cancer Society Hope Lodge and representing his Nana who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2014 on his cleats for our Week 14 matchup vs. the Seahawks for ‘My Cause My Cleats.’
The Strength & Conditioning staff annually purchases Halloween costumes for those in need at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, as well as fulfilling Christmas gift wish lists for youth from the Houston Texans YMCA. Their consistent generosity has had a tremendous impact on multiple organizations.
The Ed Block Courage Award has become one of the most prestigious awards a player can receive because it marks the only NFL award that is chosen solely by a vote of his peers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s winners will forego the annual tradition of traveling to Baltimore to receive their trophy at a gala in their honor and visit the Ed Block Courage House. The Courage House is a facility that provides support and quality care for abused children and their families in the community. Block was the longtime head athletic trainer for the old Baltimore Colts, who in addition to being a pioneer in athletic training, was passionate about causes helping children.