Cam Heyward, Patrick Mahomes Among Rooney Sportsmanship Award Nominees

Cam Heyward

Katharine Lotze/Getty Images Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers before a game against the Los Angeles Chargers on October 13, 2019.

On Thursday afternoon the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that defensive captain Cameron Heyward is the team’s nominee for this year’s Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which is presented annually to an NFL player in recognition of their on-field sportsmanship, “including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.” It’s the second time in his 10-year career that Heyward has been so honored.

2020 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Heyward joins a list of 31 other Art Rooney Sportsmanship Nominees that includes quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and Ryan Tannehill of the Tennessee Titans.

One player from every team was nominated for the award, and eight finalists (four from each conference), will be selected by members of the NFL Legends Community, including Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler.

Current NFL players will have the final say when the eight finalists appear on their Pro Bowl ballot under “NFL Sportsmanship Award.” The winner will be announced during the NFL Honors show the night before Super Bowl LV in February of 2021. The winner receives a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

No word yet on which charity Heyward will choose if he wins the award, but when the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) selected Heyward as its Community MVP for Week One of the 2020 season, a $10,000 donation was made to The Heyward House Foundation.

Heyward is part of a group of four nominees from the AFC North, namely: defensive end Calais Campbell (Baltimore Ravens), linebacker Josh Bynes (Cincinnati Bengals) and running back Nick Chubb (Cleveland Browns).

Past Winners of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award

Following are the first six recipients of the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award:
2019: RB Adrian Peterson (Washington)
2018: QB Drew Brees (New Orleans)
2017: LB Luke Kuechly (Carolina)
2016: RB Frank Gore (Indianapolis)
2015: CB Charles Woodson (Oakland)
2014: WR Larry Fitzgerald (Arizona)

The award was established in 2014 to honor Art Rooney Sr., the founder of the Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 1964).

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Steelers Can Clinch Playoff Berth Against Washington

On Thursday the Steelers sent out a tweet illustrating how the team can clinch a playoff berth—or even win the AFC North—by virtue of what happens on Sunday and Monday.

Of course, the real drama concerns the chase for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Steelers might very well need to go undefeated—or lose as little as one game—to stay ahead of the No. 2 seeded Kansas City Chiefs (10-1), who finish with the following schedule:

Denver Broncos (4-7)
at Miami Dolphins (7-4)
at New Orleans Saints (9-2)
Atlanta Falcons (4-7)
Los Angeles Chargers (3-8)

Going undefeated remains a tall order, especially when one considers that the Steelers still have road games against a pair of 8-3 teams (the Bills and Browns), not to mention a home game versus the 7-4 Indianapolis Colts.

AFC Playoff Seeding Update

At the moment, the AFC playoff seeding is as follows:
1. Steelers (11-0)
2. Chiefs (10-1)
3. Titans (8-3)
4. Bills (8-3)
5. Browns (8-3)
6. Dolphins (7-4)
7. Colts (7-4)

The Raiders and Ravens are on the outside looking in, each at 6-5, followed by the Patriots (5-6).

Also Read:
Steelers Hold Tryouts for 2 Free-Agent Offensive Linemen
Steelers Try Out Former Eagles, Penn State Defensive End
Steelers Starting Cornerback Getting MRI on Knee
6 Phrases Mike Tomlin Used to Describe ‘Frustrating’ Win Over Ravens

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