The New Orleans Saints announced on Wednesday that linebacker Michael Mauti has been named the recipient for the 2017 Ed Block Courage Award.
The Ed Block Courage Award was created by the Ed Block Courage Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the lives of neglected children. The award is given out every year to celebrate players of inspiration in the NFL.
Mauti was chosen as this year’s award winner because of his return to the NFL after battling with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation in the lining of the large intestine. After losing 47 pounds and undergoing multiple surgeries, Mauti made his triumphant return to the field in 2017.
The former Penn State linebacker was voted by his teammates as the recipient of the award.
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) December 13, 2017
Mauti spent his first two NFL seasons with the Vikings. In 2015, the Saints claimed him off waivers and he became a key piece to the team’s linebacker rotation and special teams unit. However, his 2016 season was cut short due to the condition. He was able to play with the disease for some time, but it eventually forced Mauti to have surgery.
At the start of the 2017 training camp, Mauti re-signed with the Saints. Although he did not make the final roster, he later returned to the team and has played in 8 games since. In those 8 appearances, he has recorded 8 tackles (5 solo), forced a fumble and made 1 special teams stop.
In his NFL career, Mauti has tallied 49 tackles (31 solo), 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles and 37 special teams stops in 55 games. In addition, he also has 1 blocked punt recovered for a touchdown.
At Penn State, he finished his college career with 183 tackles (91 solo), 12.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and 4 interceptions in 26 games.
Mauti and the recipients of the 31 other NFL teams will receive their awards at the annual Ed Block Courage Awards in Baltimore in the spring of 2018.
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