NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -In a vote by his teammates, New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins has been named the club’s 2019 Ed Block Courage Award winner, which is given annually to a player from each National Football League team who has persevered through adversity.
“It is always good to be voted for anything in a positive light by your peers,” Rankins said. “Obviously everything I went through this past year with my Achilles, I was just doing everything I can to get back as soon as possible.”
Rankins’ 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 first quarter of the team’s NFC Wild Card Playoff game vs. Philadelphia on January 13, 2019. Shortly thereafter, Rankins would have surgery, facing an extensive rehabilitation period for the injury.
Rankins underwent a rigorous rehabilitation process throughout the offseason. He returned to the practice field on August 26, less than eight months from the date of the injury suffered. Rankins then made his season debut in the team’s 12-10 win over the Dallas Cowboys on September 29, just over the eight-month mark from injury.
“I’m proud of myself,” Rankins said. “I have not taken time to pat myself on the back, but that’s just who I am, really. But it was big.”