The Indianapolis Colts plan to honor fallen linebacker Edwin Jackson on Sunday with multiple tributes. The Colts announced via their official website that the team will all wear helmet decals bearing Jackson's initials (the coaches will wear pins bearing the same logo), and that the organization will make a $25,000 donation to the Edwin Jackson 53 Foundation.
Jackson, who spent 2015-17 on the Colts' roster, was tragically killed in a car accident earlier this year. Jackson was riding as a passenger in an Uber vehicle on Super Bowl Sunday when he suddenly felt ill and asked the driver to pull over. The driver did so and both he and Jackson got out of the car along the westbound lanes of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis. A passing driver veered into the emergency lane and struck Jackson and the driver (Jeffrey Monroe) with his car, killing them both.
The driver, Manuel Orrego-Savala, was arrested after trying to flee the scene on foot. It was soon reported that he was both driving without a license and had a blood alcohol concentration nearly three times the legal limit in Indiana. He had also previously been convicted of drunk driving in California. As a result of this killing, he was charged by the Marion County prosecutor with two counts of causing death while operating a vehicle above the legal alcohol limit and two counts of failing to remain at the scene of an accident.
Just over seven months later, Jackson will be honored by his teammates.
"He was a happy, happy, happy man," Colts quarterback Andrew Luck said of Jackson. "He was a joy to be around. I think a lot of guys that know him in this locker room keep him alive in their heads and in their souls. I certainly find myself thinking about him at different times and he was such a positive member of this team. We are so lucky and grateful to get to play football and he certainly took advantage of that. He was a joy and an honor to play with and be around."
Safety Matthias Farley, who was among Jackson's closest friends on the team, said, "Edwin had a big impact on obviously myself -- we were very, very close -- but (also) everybody in the building and the organization. The game's the game; at the end of the day there's always going to be something week in and week out that you can focus on more. But I think this week it's very important for us to put on a good showing, as it's a divisional opponent, but it's also a lot bigger than that just because of Edwin and his family being here and honoring him in the way we we play."