Safety Kerby Joseph has done something no Detroit Lions rookie has ever done before him.
After recording 10 tackles, defending three passes and recording two interceptions in the Lions' 15-9 win over Green Bay last week, Joseph was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week.
This is Joseph's first career Defensive Player of the Week award, and he is the first ever Lions rookie to earn the honor.
He is one of two players to record 10 tackles and two interceptions in a single game this season. He's also the first NFL safety since 2009 to produce a game with 10 tackles, two interceptions and three passes defended.
The third-round pick out of Illinois has now recorded at least one takeaway in three straight contests. He forced a fumble against Dallas and Miami prior to Sunday's two-interception performance.
"It's good to see Kerby come along," Lions head coach Dan Campbell said Wednesday. "Since he's started, which is about four weeks now, he's just every week gotten a little bit better. I think (that's what this award) says.
"He's putting in the work and he's growing. It continuing to trend that way is the whole idea. That's a credit to Brad (Holmes) and our scouting staff to be able to project a player like that and hopefully he continues to trend that way."
Unfortunately, Joseph was forced to leave Sunday's game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion after taking a friendly fire hit from cornerback Jeff Okudah as both players were making a tackle.
Joseph is in the NFL's return-to-play concussion protocol, but Campbell said this week he falls in the same category as wide receiver Amon-Ra. St. Brown and tight end Brock Wright did the last two weeks. Both players were removed from games but progressed through the protocol and played the following week. The Lions think that will be the case for Joseph this week.
Joseph did take part in the open portion of Lions practice Wednesday with a red no-contact jersey on.
Rookie linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez suffered a right arm injury in last week's win over Green Bay that limited him to just 19 snaps in the game.
"He's a little bit beat up," Campbell said of Rodriguez on Wednesday. "We may move him around a little bit, but I don't know how much he will do (at practice) today. And we'll just gauge it day by day."
Rodriquez did take part in the open portion of practice Wednesday with a brace on his right arm. He is currently third on the team with 54 tackles.
The Lions placed Craig Reynolds (ribs) on injured reserve Wednesday, which means the reserve running back will miss at least the next four games. He was injured early in Sunday's win over Green Bay. He was averaging 4.4 yards per carry and had caught nine passes for 116 yards so far this season. Expect Justin Jackson to pick up more of the load behind D’Andre Swift and Jamaal Williams.
The team also signed wide receiver Trinity Benson off Denver's practice squad. Remember the Lions traded a fifth-round pick for Benson before the beginning of last season. He was cut by Detroit before the start of this season.
The Lions also re-signed wide receiver Stanley Berryhill to the practice squad.
RUN GAME FOCUS
The Lions head to Chicago to take on the Bears (3-6) this Sunday. It will be a big test for Detroit's 32nd ranked run defense.
The Bears are No. 1 in the NFL running the football with a 195.4 yard average per game. Chicago is the first team since the mid-1970s to run for at least 225 yards in four straight games. They'll try to make it five straight Sunday against the Lions.
Quarterback Justin Fields is coming off a 176-yard rushing performance in a close loss to Miami last week, which was the most rushing yards by a quarterback in a regular season game in NFL history.
Chicago leads the NFL with 54 rushes of 10 or more yards. Fields has 22 rushes of 10 or more yards (fourth most in the league) and running back Khalil Herbert has 17 (eighth).
Detroit's defense has a huge task ahead of them limiting Chicago's run game.