Buccaneers' O.J. Howard Selected for the Ed Block Courage Award for Sportsmanship, Courage, and Community Involvement

L. Cane

2020 didn't end in the best way for Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end O.J. Howard. In October, he suffered a torn achilles. However, things are starting to look a little brighter this year.

A Prestigious Award Selected by Teammates:

Despite Howard's struggles, he played in all 19 games in 2021 and was selected by his teammates to receive the Ed Block Courage Award, which recognizes sportsmanship, courage, and community involvement. The award is unique because the selection is made by a player's teammates.

Howard is in good company. Past Buccaneer recipients include Derrick Brooks, Ronde Barber, John Lynch, Mike Alstott, Warrick Dunn, Gerald McCoy, and Vincent Jackson.

In his time with the Bucs, O.J. has played in 59 games, had 46 starts, caught 119 passes for 1,737 yards, and scored 15 touchdowns.

For his part, Howard was appreciative of the award, saying:

"I'm extremely grateful to be selected as the Buccaneers nominee for this prestigious award. It's always rewarding to look back and see how much progress I've made after overcoming a major setback. For me, this is the cherry on top of what unwavering faith, dedication, and resiliency can bring along the journey of life. I'm forever thankful."

Howard's Role in The Community Never Wavered:

Although Howard had some injuries on the field, he never let up with his philanthropy. In 2017, he founded the Got Da Juice 1K Foundation with the desire to empower youth to achieve their goals through sports and education initiatives. He has continued that initiative throughout his Bucs career. Here is a Tweet of O.J.'s cleats featuring Got Da Juice for the NFL's "My Cause My Cleats" initiative.

During his time with the Buccaneers, Howard has continuously hosted youth football camps, and sporting events. He has also provided scholarships to help students succeed.

Howard has regularly visited children's hospitals, MacDill Air Force Base, and schools. He has also provides special game-day experiences for the community's youth through his "O.J.'s Juice Pack" initiative.

This nomination means that Howard is one of 32 players who will attend the award ceremony at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore in April.

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