LOS ANGELES (NEXSTAR/AP) — It’s been quite the week for Rams tackle Andrew Whitworth. The veteran, who also played for the Bengals, will take the field against his old team Sunday in the Super Bowl. On Thursday night, he won the league’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award.
The award is given to a player who demonstrates “outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on it.”
“This award, though, has been about players who are great on the football field, but live with their hearts off it,” Whitworth said during his acceptance speech. “They made their time in the NFL about more than just the stats they put out on the field, but how they lived off of it.
Before coming to Los Angeles, Whitworth and his wife, Melissa, were involved in numerous community initiatives around the Cincinnati area. He was a pillar in the locker room. Not only was he a team captain, but he was the Bengals player representative for the NFL Players Association and helped organize team workouts during the 2011 lockout.
The Bengals drafted Whitworth, now 40 years old, in the second round in 2006. He helped get the franchise to six postseason appearances in 11 seasons before signing with the Rams in 2017.
This Sunday will be the second time Whitworth has gone up against the Bengals. The teams played in 2018 in a regular-season game in London, Five players and two assistant coaches remain on Cincinnati’s roster from Whitworth’s final season in stripes in 2016.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)