Jets select late Dennis Byrd for award named in his honor

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) The New York Jets have honored the late Dennis Byrd by voting to posthumously select the former defensive lineman as the winner of the team's award named after him.

The Dennis Byrd Most Inspirational Award has been presented each year since 1992 - with Byrd the first winner - to the most inspirational Jets player by a vote of his teammates.

Byrd became an inspiration to many after he overcame brief paralysis and walked again just a few months after injuring his neck during a play in 1992.

Byrd, who played for the Jets for four seasons, was killed in a car accident in Oklahoma in October. He was 50.

''It's an incredible honor for Dennis' family to know he is that respected and thought of there,'' Byrd's wife Angela told the Jets' website . ''Even in his death, he is still inspirational. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It means so much to us and we're grateful.''

Coach Todd Bowles, who announced the team awards Friday during a meeting with players, said Byrd was voted for by ''everybody.'' He added that the award would be mailed to Byrd's family, and Jets players applauded the announcement.

Byrd's No. 90 jersey was retired by the team in 2012. The Jets held a moment of silence in a pregame ceremony in tribute to Byrd before they played Baltimore on Oct. 23

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