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Stephen Bowen Named Redskins’ Recipient Of Ed Block Courage Award
(Originally posted 10:43 a.m., updated 11:55 a.m.)
ASHBURN – Washington Redskins defensive end Stephen Bowen was named the Washington Redskins’ recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award on Thursday after having one of the best seasons of his career – one in which he and his wife, Tiffany, have overcome the premature birth of twin boys over the summer, one of which did not survive.
Tiffany gave birth to Skyler and Stephen III on June 28 four months prematurely, and each son weighed one pound, six ounces. Skyler died a week later, while Stephen III remained in intensive care for nearly three months in a Dallas-area hospital. Stephen III was healthy enough to be transferred to a hospital in Northern Virginia in mid-September and was finally released in October.
“It means a lot,” Bowen said. “You know, my teammates were looking after me for the stuff that I’ve been through this past offseason and pretty much the entire year so far. I’ve just been trying to stay strong for my family and be the best teammate that I can be.”
Bowen, 27, has 29 tackles through 12 games this season, including a career-high 4.5 sacks in his first year with the Redskins.
“To go through what Stephen has had to endure and be able to perform at a high level day-in and day-out is just remarkable,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said in a statement released by the team. “His courage is unmatched and I’m glad I have had the opportunity to work with a young man of his character.”
The recipient is selected by a vote of the players; Bowen will be honored with those from across the league at a banquet in March. Former Redskins nose tackle Ma’ake Kemoeatu won the award last season, while defensive end Phillip Daniels won in 2009 and current safety Reed Doughty won in 2008.
Defensive end Adam Carriker said the decision to give Bowen the award was, he believed, nearly unanimous.
“If I had to deal with something like that, I’m not sure how I would deal with it, you know?” Carriker said. “I was talking to my wife and I was like, I’ve never had a major loss in my life like that, so I don’t even know what I would do. It’s amazing what he’s done.”
The award is named after Ed Block, who was the athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts from 1954-77. When the Colts moved to Indianapolis in 1984, the NFL expanded the program to include one player on each team.
“Stephen exemplifies the physical and mental toughness needed to play in today’s NFL both on and off the field,” said Redskins head athletic trainer Larry Hess in the statement. “His courage is unmatched and I’m glad I have had the opportunity to work with a young man of his character.”