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You thought we forgot about Dre? NFL did not. He is AFC Defensive Player of Week

Rookie fought off injury to post 2.5 sacks
Posted: 8:55 AM, Dec 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-27 10:57:04-05

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- The Broncos boast a strong rookie class for the second straight season, benefiting from drafting experienced players with leadership qualities. Drew Lock has created certainty at quarterback. Noah Fant ranks among the league's top 15 most productive tight ends this season. Dalton Risner has started from the first preseason snap, emerging into a core piece at left guard.

And you thought we forgot about Dre? Defensive end Dre'Mont Jones is finishing with a flourish. Taking advantage of a line ravaged by injuries, Jones posted a career-high 2.5 sacks last Sunday, earning AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

"Honestly, it's been happening all year. I hate that it's happened because guys have gotten hurt (Derek Wolfe out with a elbow injury, Adam Gotsis out with torn ACL in his left knee)," Jones told Denver7. "But I have feel like I have capitalized with the opportunities."

Jones joined selected company with Friday's honor. Only three rookies have pulled off the feat this season: Pittsburgh linebacker Devin Bush, Oakland defensive end Maxx Crosby and Jones. Jones, a third-round pick from Ohio State, posted five tackles to accompany his sacks. He emerged last season in college after Nick Bosa suffered a season-ending injury. Jones has gone from inactive for the season opener to a key component moving forward, notching 3.5 sacks on the season.

Jones is the third Broncos rookie to receive the award since it was initiated in 1984. He joins linebacker D.J. Williams (2004, Week 16) and outside linebacker Von Miller (2011, Week 11).