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Colts’ Running Back Jonathan Taylor Named Winner for 2021 Bert Bell Award

New England Patriots v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts’ running back Jonathan Taylor has been named the winner of the 63rd Bert Bell Professional Player of the Year Award.

Part of what makes this award so unique is that it’s voted on by NFL owners, NFL head and personnel coaches, media members and the Maxwell Football Club.

Founded in 1959, the Bert Bell Award is given to the best player in the NFL for a given season.

In a historical season in which he led the NFL in rushing yards (1,811), rushing attempts (338) and rushing touchdowns (18) on an average of 5.5 yards per carry, Taylor joins former quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas as the only other Colts player to earn the award. Both Manning and Unitas won the award twice while with the Colts — Manning in 2003 and 2004 and Unitas in 1959 and 1967.

During his breakout season, Taylor set a variety of NFL and franchise records, including surpassing Hall of Fame running back Edgerrin James for the most single-season rushing yards in Colts history. He also became the youngest player in league history to garner more than 2,000 scrimmage yards and 20 or more touchdowns in a single season.

The star back also was recently named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-NFL and All-AFC teams, earned his first-ever Pro Bowl selection and was one of five unanimous First-Team All-Pro selections as well.

Taylor’s 2021 season was unquestionably one of the best we’ve seen from a running back in quite some time, and at only 23 years old, he’ll look to build on his already extensive and impressive resume in 2022.