NFC Players of the Month

Freeman, Short, and Hekker take home October awards

Running back DAVONTA FREEMAN of the Atlanta Falcons, defensive tackle KAWANN SHORT of the Carolina Panthers and punter JOHNNY HEKKERof the St. Louis Rams are the NFC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Month for October, the NFL announced today.


  • Freeman led the NFL with 632 scrimmage yards (437 rushing, 195 receiving) and six touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving) as the Falcons posted a 3-1 record in October.
  • He had at least 130 scrimmage yards in all four games and averaged 158 scrimmage yards per game.
  • Freeman had three 100-yard rushing games and averaged 109.3 rushing yards per game. His 437 rushing yards in the month were the most in the NFC and ranked second in the NFL.
  • This season, he leads the NFL in scrimmage yards (931), rushing yards (621), TDs (10) and rushing TDs (nine).
  • At 23 years old, Freeman is only the fourth player at age 23 or younger to rush for at least 600 yards and nine touchdowns in his team’s first seven games of a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famers JIM BROWN (1958 and 1959), ERIC DICKERSON (1983) and EMMITT SMITH(1992).
  • In his second season from Florida State, this is Freeman’s first career Player of the Month Award.
  • Freeman joins JAMAL ANDERSON (November 1998) as the only running backs in franchise history to be named Offensive Player of the Month.


  • Short had five sacks, 19 tackles, three passes defensed and a forced fumble as the Panthers posted a 3-0 record in October.
  • His five sacks were the most by a defensive tackle and tied for the second-most in the NFL during the month.
  • Short’s 19 tackles ranked second among NFL defensive tackles in October.
  • His three passes defensed were the most by a defensive tackle in the NFC during the month and ranked second in the NFL at the position.
  • Short had six tackles for a loss in the month.
  • He was named the NFC Defensive Player of Week 6 for his two sacks and five tackles in a 27-23 win at Seattle.
  • In his third year from Purdue, this is Short’s first career Player of the Month Award.
  • He is the first defensive tackle in team history to be named Defensive Player of the Month.
  • Short joins JULIUS PEPPERS (three times) and MIKE RUCKER (two) as the only Panthers defensive linemen to be named Defensive Player of the Month.


  • Hekker averaged 48.3 yards per punt with a net average of 44.3 yards as the Rams won two of their three games in October. His net averaged led the NFC and his gross average ranked second in the conference.
  • Eight of his 16 punts during the month traveled at least 50 yards, including a long of 57 yards in Week 4 at Arizona. He had at least one 50+ yard punt in all three games.
  • He placed six punts inside the 20-yard line, including four punts that were downed at the 10-yard line or closer.
  • Hekker also completed a 20-yard pass for a first down in Week 5 at Green Bay. In his career, he has completed six of his eight pass attempts for 99 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
  • In his fourth season from Oregon State, this is Hekker’s first career Player of the Month Award.
  • Hekker joins SEAN LANDETA (two) as the only Rams punters to win Special Teams Player of the Month.



Offense Defense Special Teams
September WR Julio Jones, Atlanta CB Josh Norman, Carolina KR-PR Tyler Lockett, Seattle
October RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta DT Kawann Short, Carolina P Johnny Hekker, St. Louis


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