Carolina Panthers defensive end Brian Burns has been named the Carolina Panthers 2020 Ed Block Courage Award winner. The annual award honors one player from each NFL team that shows courage on and off the field.

Each year, the Ed Block Courage Awards honors those NFL players who exemplify commitments to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Rather than selected by committee, the Ed Block Courage Award is unique in that the recipients are selected solely by a vote by their teammates. 

Burns had quite the season on the field, being named Roaring Riot’s Most Valuable Panther while racking up a team-leading nine sacks as well as 36 QB pressures, 8th-most in the NFL. He also had 21 hits on opposing QBs this year, the most by any Panther and tied for 11th in the NFL. Burns’ three forced fumbles were t-12th most, despite only playing in 15 games this season as he battled a knee injury late in the year.

His 58 tackles were the second-most by any defensive end in the NFL in 2020 and in November, Burns was named by Pro Football Focus as one of the 25 Best Players Under 25 in the NFL and NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his two-sack effort in a shutout win over the Detroit Lions.

Off the field, Burns founded the Route #53 Dawg Rescue Foundation in 2019, an organization to rescue battered, neglected dogs and pair them with loving homes. 

Brian Burns with his dog, Apollo, a young Presa Canario. Photo Credit: Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez/Carolina Panthers

Previous winners of the award have included Shaq Thompson in 2019 and Julius Peppers in 2018.

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Thompson was the Panthers 2020 nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, won by Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater was awarded the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, presented each year to a player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.

The Ed Block Courage Award Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to supporting the well-being of abused, neglected and at-risk children throughout their Courage House National Support Network for Kids.

Josh Klein on Twitter
Josh K
Editor-In-Chief at The Riot Report
Josh Klein is Editor-In-Chief of The Riot Report. His favorite Panther of all time is Chad Cota and he once AIM chatted with Kevin Greene. Follow Josh on Twitter @joshkleinrules.