Each year, the Ed Block Courage Award recognizes one player from all 32 teams for “their courage and inspiration.” The winner is chosen by his teammates.
Here’s more on the honor from the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation website:
“The recipients stand as role models for their ability to overcome adversity while also serving their respective communities. Throughout the year they are included in our virtual content, highlighting their accomplishments on and off the field.”
Jackson was in the middle of a renaissance season before he suffered a Lisfranc injury in Week 12. He had four interceptions and two forced fumbles on the year, after managing only one forced fumble in 2021. Jackson wasn’t just a takeaway machine, though. He improved his tackling considerably this season and finished fourth on the team with 80 stops despite playing in only 12 games. For his efforts, Jackson won the Bears’ inaugural Ballhawk Award.
In the locker room, Jackson emerged as a leader. Nearly every coach and young player in the secondary praised Jackson for being an excellent mentor on and off the field. He did all of this while facing hardships in his personal life. Jackson’s girlfriend suffered a failed pregnancy earlier in 2022, and it took him many months before he opened up about it.
Ed Block was an athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts from 1954-1977 and was known for his humanitarian efforts. His foundation’s mission is to support “the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout our Courage House National Support Network for Kids.” Each NFL team has a Courage House they support, which “provides support and quality care for abused, neglected and at-risk children and their families in a community.” The Bears’ Courage House is the Maryville Crisis Nursery.
Over the past five years, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation says it’s donated over $200,000 and more than $20,000 in memorabilia to its community partners. The most recent Ed Block Courage Award winners for the Bears besides Jackson are Tarik Cohen, Roquan Smith, Allen Robinson, Zach Miller and Kyle Long.