By Brandon C. Williams
A FIGHTER IN the truest sense of the word, Texans offensive lineman David Quessenberry was named the 2017 George Halas Award Winner on Monday after his inspirational battle to return to the field after a three-year bout against Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Quessenberry, who was selected in the sixth round by the Texans in the 2013 draft, missed the entire season with a foot injury yet appeared on the road to playing again before fatigue and a persistent cough in June 2014 led to the discovery of the illness. He has been on the team’s non-football illness in each of the past three seasons while receiving treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and completed chemotherapy this past April.
“It’s such an honor to be put in the group of me who have won the Halas Award before me,” said Quessenberry on Monday afternoon. “Some legends of our game have received this award and I’m just honored and very humbled to be a part of it.”
The award is given to an NFL player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed. It is named after Chicago Bears founder George Halas, who was involved with the team from 1920 until his death in 1983. Halas won 324 games in 40 years as a coach and was a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
Quessenberry was a finalist for the award along with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, Baltimore Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta and Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake. He is the first Texans player to receive the honor.
“I’m really proud to to receive this award, not just for my fight and everything I went through, but also to represent everyone who helped me get back to football,” said Quessenberry. “The entire Houston Texans organization stood behind me when I felt like the furthest thing from a football player. They gave me the motivation to see this through and beat it and get back to the field where I belong and where they wanted me to be.”