07/14/2015 12:27 PM -

JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville Sharks and the Arena Football League announced Tuesday that Jacksonville defensive lineman Joe Sykes has earned the AFL Highlight of the Week award for Week 16 of the 2015 season. The League is honoring Sykes for his second-quarter sack and forced fumble in the Sharks’ game against the Portland Thunder on Saturday, July 11.

Late in the second quarter of Saturday’s game, Portland’s offense faced a second-down situation from its own 21-yard line. As Thunder quarterback Kyle Rowley snapped the ball, Sykes blew past his man to the outside, hammered Rowley from the blind side and jarred the ball free. The fumble eventually caromed all the way back into the Portland end zone, where Jacksonville Jack linebacker Alvin Ray Jackson fell on the loose ball for a Shark touchdown.

Sykes’ strip-sack proved to be a historic play, as he established a new single-season League record with his 10th forced fumble of the 2015 season. Sykes also tied his own single-season AFL sack record (16.0) on that play, matching the total that he compiled during his Defensive Player of the Year season with the San Jose SaberCats in 2012. Sykes now needs just one partial sack over the course of the last four regular-season games to make his 2015 campaign the most productive individual pass rushing season in the AFL’s 28-year history.

Sykes has exemplified consistency this season, as he has recorded a sack in all but two of the Sharks’ 14 games. At one point, Sykes brought down the quarterback in 10 consecutive games, doubling the longest previous streak in Jacksonville franchise history. In addition to his sack and fumble totals, Sykes has recorded 35.0 tackles (28 solo), 20.0 tackles for loss, two pass breakups and a safety.

Sykes’ honor is the seventh Weekly award won by a Shark this season. Wide receiver Joe Hills was named the J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 1 and earned Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 12. Wide receiver Tiger Jones earned Offensive Player of the Week honors in Week 3 and Cutters Catch of the Week honors in Week 4. The Sharks had two weekly award winners in Week 14, as quarterback Tommy Grady was named Offensive Player of the Week and Jackson earned Playmaker of the Week honors.

About the Jacksonville Sharks

The Jacksonville Sharks are members of the Arena Football League (AFL). The ArenaBowl XXIV and four-time South Division Champions are presented by Sea Best Seafood and play all home games on Sea Best Field at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. Shark Nation Memberships for the 2016 season are now available, starting as low as $99. To reserve your membership or for more information, please call (904) 621-0700 and speak to a Membership Activation Specialist. Follow the Sharks on facebook at and on Twitter @jaxsharks, as well as the Attack Dance Team at and Chum at


About the AFL

Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2015 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 on ESPN.