INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez has been selected by his teammates as the recipient of the 2020 Ed Block Courage Award.
The award is an annual recognition for courageous play by an individual, and Sanchez is one of 32 National Football League players who earned the accolade. The players of each member club nominate an individual annually and those chosen are traditionally honored at a banquet in Baltimore each March.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected for this award, especially with the great men that we have in our locker room,” said Sanchez. “I’ve always admired the people around the league who have made the list and I’m blessed to be one of the 32 recipients this year. I’m thankful for everyone who categorized me for this distinguished award. Just know, to always keep going and be the change.”
Sanchez has played in 60 games in four seasons (2017-20) with the Colts and has compiled 233 punts for 10,567 yards (45.4 avg./42.1 net avg.) with 90 pinned inside the 20-yard line. He has also registered 194 touchbacks on 301 kickoffs.
Sanchez helps lead the Colts’ annual Hispanic Heritage Month Football Camp. In September 2019, Sanchez and nine of his teammates hosted 150 youth, ages 7-13, at the Colts’ training facility where they instructed the youth on proper football fundamentals. A native of Chico, Calif., he hosted his inaugural Rigo Sanchez Youth Football Camp at his alma mater, Hamilton High. The free event took place in June 2019 and was open to 230 kids, ages 8-16. Last year, Sanchez also assisted with a Thanksgiving meal distribution to 50 low-income elementary school families back in his hometown. He has participated in multiple meal distributions in Indianapolis as well.
As part of the NFL’s My Cause My Cleats initiative, Sanchez has promoted awareness for the National Alliance on Mental Health (2020), the Lupus Foundation of America (2019) and the Lung Cancer Foundation of America (2017-18).
The award is named after Ed Block who was the head athletic trainer for the Baltimore Colts from 1954-77. He served as trainer emeritus with the club until he passed away in 1983.
Past winners of the award dating back to 2000, include: DE-Jabaal Sheard (2019), TE-Jack Doyle (2018), S-Clayton Geathers (2017), QB-Andrew Luck (2016), G/T-Joe Reitz (2015), TE-Dwayne Allen (2014), DE-Cory Redding (2013), S-Antoine Bethea (2012), DE-Robert Mathis (2011), DE-Dwight Freeney (2010), DB-Marlin Jackson (2009), C-Jeff Saturday (2008), OG-Ryan Lilja (2007), WR-Reggie Wayne (2006), LB-Cato June (2005), LB-Gary Brackett (2004), DE-Chad Bratzke (2003), LB-Rob Morris (2002), QB-Peyton Manning (2001) and DT-Bernard Whittington (2000).
The 43rd annual Ed Block Courage Awards is scheduled for March 25-27, 2021. Proceeds from the affair benefit the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation in Baltimore. The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation’s objective is to establish homes for abused children in each NFL city. Indianapolis established an Ed Block Courage home (Children’s Bureau) in October of 2000. The home is part of a national support network for abused children.