Two weeks after being named the Ravens’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, tight end Benjamin Watson earned another honor Thursday, when he was announced as the team’s Ed Block Courage Award recipient.
The honor recognizes a representative from each of the 32 teams who exemplifies professionalism, courage to overcome adversity and community service.
The award is named after Block, the longtime head trainer for the Baltimore Colts who worked to help improve the lives of children. The Baltimore connection — and that the players vote for the recipient – resonated with Watson.
“It’s an honor to be selected by my teammates,” he said after Thursday’s practice. “This award around the league is one that is held in very high esteem because it’s voted for by the players, and to win in Baltimore where Mr. Block was — a trainer and a humanitarian and just the legacy he left with the city as well as this organization — it’s special to be here in Baltimore and win this award. So thank you, and I look forward to continuing my own humanitarian efforts with all the work you guys are doing.”
On the field, Watson leads the team in receptions (49) and touchdown catches (four) and ranks third in receiving yards (421) despite a torn right Achilles tendon that wiped out his 2016 season. Off the field, Watson heads his own charity called the One More Foundation that has tried to help fight sex trafficking and has matched all donations made to local schools in Baltimore.
“Congratulations to Ben Watson. A tremendous honor,” coach John Harbaugh said. “The Ed Block Courage Award is one of the top awards in the National Football League. Overcoming adversity, dealing with the injury part of it, those kinds of things, he’s obviously done a tremendous job with the Achilles and the way he’s playing right now. I think it speaks volumes. And the fact that your peers, the players vote for that award, it’s quite a thing.”