Donald Voted Team MVP, Whitworth, Franklin-Myers, Shields Receive Team Honors

The Rams have given four team awards, as voted by the players. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald has been named the team's most valuable player, receiving the Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award.

Entering Week 17, Donald has already set the franchise record with 19.5 sacks in 2018. He's also set a new NFL record for sacks by a defensive tackle, surpassing Keith Millard's 18.0 sacks from 1989. The 2017 AP Defensive Player of the Year, Donald is the clear frontrunner to receive the award this season. Donald has set career highs in sacks (19.5), tackles for loss (24), and quarterback hits (38) — leading the league in the first two categories.

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Defensive end John Franklin-Myers receives the Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award, given to the team's rookie of the year. The fourth-round pick out of Stephen F. Austin has played 30 percent of Los Angeles' defensive snaps, making him one of the most significant rookie contributors. He's recorded 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery through 15 games of his first professional season.

For the second year in a row, left tackle Andrew Whitworth receives the Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award, which is given to the player who bast exemplifies sportsmanship, ethic, and commitment to teammates. Whitworth has been an essential part to the Rams' offensive turnaround of the last two seasons as a cornerstone of the offensive line. But Whitworth has been just as important as a team captain, spearheading the players' efforts to positively respond to the tragedies in the Thousand Oaks, Calif. community in November. Whitworth is also Los Angeles' Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee.

Finally, cornerback Sam Shields is the Rams team recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award, which is given to a player who is a role model of inspiration, sportsmanship, and courage. After missing essentially the last two seasons due to injury, Shields has returned to the NFL and played each of Los Angeles' first 15 games. He's played a critical role on special teams, playing nearly 50 percent of those snaps. But he's also played just over a third of Los Angeles' defensive snaps, recording an interception and four passes defensed.

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The Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award was established in 1969 in honor of the former owner of the Rams, Dan Reeves, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967. Reeves owned the Rams from 1941-71 and claimed World Championships in 1945 and 1951. He was the first to integrate football in the modern era with the signing of Woody Strode and Kenny Washington in 1946.

The Carroll Rosenbloom Memorial Award is given to the team's Rookie of the Year and was established following the passing of former owner Carroll Rosenbloom in 1979. Rosenbloom became the owner of the Rams when he orchestrated an unprecedented franchise trade in 1972.

Established in 1990, the Carl Ekern Spirit of the Game Award is given to the player who best exemplifies sportsmanship, ethic, and commitment to his teammates. Those traits were displayed by former Rams linebacker Carl Ekern, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1990. Ekern was a starter for the Rams from 1982-88 and earned an invitation to the Pro Bowl in 1986.

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