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Bowen Wins Ed Block Courage Award


The Redskins have named defensive end Stephen Bowen the winner of the team's 2011 Ed Block Courage Award.

The honor is given annually to a player from each NFL team who displays extraordinary courage in the face of adversity.

On June 28, 2011, Bowen and his wife gave birth to twin boys, Skyler and Stephen III, who were born four months premature. Both weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces.

Skyler passed away one week later. Stephen III remained in a neonatal intensive care unit at a Dallas-area hospital until September.

In the midst of his family's tragedy, Bowen signed with the Redskins as a free agent on July 30.

While transitioning to a new city and new defense in Washington, his heart stayed in Dallas where his family remained until Stephen III was deemed healthy enough to transfer to a Northern Virginia hospital. Stephen III was released from the hospital in October.

Despite the personal adversity of losing a son and monitoring the progress of another, Bowen's competitive edge and commitment to his teammates never wavered.

He has started all 12 games through Week 13, in the process establishing a career high in sacks (4.5) and adding 43 tackles (27 solo), six tackles for loss, 16 quarterback pressures and one fumble recovery.

Bowen has also played despite a torn posterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in Week 12 against the Seattle Seahawks.

"Stephen exemplifies the physical and mental toughness needed to play in today's NFL both on and off the field," Redskins head athletic trainer Larry Hess said. "We are proud to have him a part of our organization."

"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. "His courage is unmatched and I'm glad I have had the opportunity to work with a young man of his character."

The Courage Award is named after Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts.

Previous Redskins winners of the award include Doug Williams, Joe Jacoby, Don Warren, Art Monk, Mark Schlereth, Darrell Green, Chris Samuels, Fred Smoot, Randy Thomas, Marcus Washington, Reed Doughty, Phillip Daniels and Ma'ake Kemoeatu.

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