Detroit Lions rookie safety Kerby Joseph has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 9.
Joseph was the star of Detroit’s 15-9 upset over the Green Bay Packers, tallying three pass breakups, including two interceptions and a career-high 10 tackles. He is just the fourth NFL player to record two interceptions off of Aaron Rodgers in one game.
He also earned PFF’s highest grade (90.1) among all NFL safeties for the entire week and the seventh-highest among all defensive players. Through nine weeks of the season, Joseph’s 83.0 PFF grade ranks second among all NFL safeties.
“Kerby’s been, for three weeks now, he has not come off the field, and we’re just letting him grow, but he’s been so close,” coach Dan Campbell said after Sunday’s performance. “I swear every week, we talk about, ‘Man, he is.’ The first time he missed one of those interceptions, he was about an inch away, and then the next one he was about half an inch away, and so now, he’s starting to feel it. He’s got some instincts to him. Some ball hog instincts.”
Joseph becomes the first Lions defender to win the weekly honors since Darius Slay back in 2018. The last Lions rookie to win NFC Defensive Player of the Week was... nobody. He is the first Lions rookie to ever win NFC Defensive Player of the Week. He is the second Lions player to be given weekly honors from the NFL this season after Amon-Ra St. Brown won NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance in Week 2’s victory over the Washington Commanders.
Joseph did have to leave Sunday’s game early after going into concussion protocol. It’s unclear if Joseph will be available this week to play against the Chicago Bears, but Campbell seemed optimistic about his chances.
“He’s in the protocol, but there again, we’re early in the process,” Campbell said on Monday. We’re certainly hopeful. I feel like he falls in the same category as (Amon-Ra St. Brown) Saint and Brock Wright have over the last two weeks.”
Both St. Brown and Wright were able to return to play the week after entering concussion protocol.
Make sure this isn’t the only award Joseph wins this week, as you can still vote for him as the Week 9 Rookie of the Week here.