Thomas Morstead is willing to pay it forward after Minnesota Vikings fans donated reportedly more than $150,000 to the charity of the New Orleans Saints punter.
The Vikings fans' generosity comes on the heels of Morstead playing through the pain of torn cartilage in his ribs sustained on the first series of Sunday's NFC divisional-round game. The 31-year-old even came out for the final play -- an extra-point attempt -- after Stefon Diggs reeled in a 61-yard touchdown pass as time expired to give Minnesota a 29-24 victory.
Vikings fans donated to Morstead's "What You Give Will Grow" charity that helps the New Orleans community - especially children battling cancer - prompting the punter to promise to return to the state to personally deliver a check to Minnesota's Child Life Program.
"I'm just totally humbled by this," Morstead in a video on Twitter. "I might be forced to root for you guys all the way through the Super Bowl now. Just totally blown away. Thank you very much."
Morstead's tale is similar to those of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.
Dalton's charity received more than $300,000 in donations from Buffalo Bills fans after he capped a three-touchdown performance by tossing a 49-yard scoring strike in Cincinnati's 31-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 31. The last touchdown pass eliminated the Ravens from postseason contention and sent the Bills into the playoffs for the first time since 1999.
Dalton noted that many of the donations were for $17, which represented the 17 seasons between playoff berths for the Bills.
His foundation "provides support, resources, opportunities and life-changing experiences to seriously ill and physically challenged children and their families."
Bengals fans payed it forward by donating money to Bortles' charitable foundation after the quarterback led two crucial fourth-quarter drives to help the Jaguars upend the Pittsburgh Steelers in their AFC divisional-round contest. The Steelers are considered one of the Bengals' chief rivals.
Per the Blake Bortles Foundation, Bengals fans have donated close to $5,000 since the conclusion of the contest. The foundation helps "children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities" and "first responders in both Jacksonville and Oviedo (Fla.) communities."
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