We won’t find out who won NFL MVP or Defensive Player of the Year for close to a month when all the major awards are announced just before the Super Bowl, but the Los Angeles Rams handed out awards of their own this week ahead of their playoff game against the Seahawks.
They only gave out four awards, two of which went to players on offense, with the other two going to defenders. The four honors were MVP, Rookie of the Year, the Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award (sportsmanship) and the Ed Block Courage Award (inspiration and courage).
Below, you’ll find out which player won each title for the Rams.
MVP: Aaron Donald
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
This one comes as no surprise. There was really no better candidate than Donald for team MVP, given the season that he had. He led the Rams with 13.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss and 27 quarterback hits, topping the NFL in total pressures with 98. Without Donald, the Rams surely wouldn’t have ranked first in yards and points allowed, or second in sacks. He was a stud once again, earning team MVP for the third straight season.
Rookie of the Year: Jordan Fuller
(AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Cam Akers had a strong case for this award, but Fuller contributed more at safety than Akers did at running back. Fuller opened the year as the starter next to John Johnson, a remarkable feat for a rookie safety, especially after a shortened offseason. With Taylor Rapp and Terrell Burgess injured, Fuller’s presence has done wonders for the Rams.
Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award: Andrew Whitworth
(AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
This award is given to the player who “best exemplifies sportsmanship, ethic, and commitment to teammates,” as the Rams put it. Whitworth is as strong a leader as they come, even while on the sidelines due to a torn MCL that he suffered in Week 10. He’s also the team’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, which is a testament to his work off the field. He’s a critical part of the Rams’ success.
Ed Block Courage Award: Rob Havenstein
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Havenstein missed nearly half of the 2019 season with a knee injury but he bounced back and played all 16 games this year, missing only three total snaps. He put together a strong season, too, allowing only four sacks and earning an overall grade of 80.0 from PFF. His toughness was commendable after missing time last year, and it’s no wonder his teammates voted him the recipient of this honor.