Chiefs' Marcus Peters: Wins Defensive Rookie of the Year
Marcus Peters was named Defensive Rookie of the Year at Saturday's NFL Awards Ceremony, Connor Orr of NFL.com reports.
Peters was the eighth defensive player and third cornerback selected in the 2015 draft, but he outperformed his peers in a big way by collecting 45 of a possible 50 votes for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award. He was tied with Cincinnati's Reggie Nelson for the league lead in interceptions with eight, and Peters returned two of those picks for touchdowns. Peters looks to be one of the steals of last year's draft and figures to be a key member of Kansas City's stout defense for years to come.
Panthers' Cam Newton: Named NFL MVP
Cam Newton was named the NFL's 2015 MVP on Saturday, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com reports.
Newton earned 48 of the possible 50 votes for MVP, with Tom Brady and Carson Palmer as the other two signal-callers receiving votes. With 2014's top wideout Kelvin Benjamin sidelined for the season with a knee injury, Newton elevated his level of play and transformed Carolina's offense into the top scoring unit in the league. Newton accounted for a career-high 45 touchdowns in the regular season (35 passing, 10 rushing) and threw a career-low 10 interceptions. He took home NFL Offensive Player of the Year as well on Saturday and will look to cap off the season with a Super Bowl victory Sunday against the Broncos.
Rams' Todd Gurley: Named Offensive Rookie of the Year
Todd Gurley was named Offensive Rookie of the Year at Saturday's NFL Awards Ceremony, Connor Orr of NFL.com reports.
Less than one year removed from a torn ACL in his final season at Georgia, Gurley found traction in his second career game on Oct. 4 against Arizona and was one of the best backs in the league from there. Starting with his 146-yard showing against the Cardinals, Gurley reached the 100-yard mark in four consecutive games. He finished the year third in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,106 behind only Adrian Peterson and Doug Martin. Gurley beat out Tampa Bay's Jameis Winston and Oakland's Amari Cooper to take home the Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Texans' J.J. Watt: Wins Defensive Player of the Year
J.J. Watt was named the NFL Defensive player of the Year at Saturday's NFL Awards ceremony.
Despite being hampered by hand and groin injuries down the stretch, Watt turned in another dominant season as the undoubted leader of the Houston Texans ' defense. Watt finished out the year with the league-lead in sacks with 17.5 totaling 118 total yards lost to go with 50 quarterback hits and eight passes defensed. He beat out St. Louis' Aaron Donald and Carolina's Luke Keuchly to take home his third DPOY award.
Steelers' Le'Veon Bell: Still not cleared to run
Le'Veon Bell (knee) still has not been cleared to run, according to ESPN.com staff writer Jeremy Fowler. "Once I get cleared to run, I'll be happy," Bell said. "I just want to get back to how I am and get ready for next season."
Bell is expected to be ready for Week 1, but has a challenging rehabilitation process ahead of him for the torn MCL and PCL sustained in Week 8 of the 2015 season. A healthy Bell tops many fantasy cheat sheets, so his progess should be monitored during the offseason right up to draft day.
Browns' Johnny Manziel: Criminal investigation reopened
The Dallas Police Department has reopened its investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident committed by Johnny Manziel last Saturday morning.
On Friday, the department received a complaint of the alleged assault, spurring a renewed effort to determine if anything criminal occurred during the encounter. As the listed suspect, Manziel could now be facing legal concerns in addition to any discipline that the NFL may hand down.
Jaguars' Allen Hurns: Expects to start running in one month
Allen Hurns (sports hernia) expects to start running in approximately one month, John Oehser of the Jacksonville Jaguars ' official site reports. As for the offseason, he said, "OTAs, I'll definitely be ready. I'll be doing everything I'm supposed to be."
Hurns gutted out injury after injury in his second season en route to 64 catches (on 105 targets) for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns in 15 games. Missing only one outing due to his residence in the concussion protocol, he nonetheless required sports hernia surgery once the campaign concluded. If he indeed upholds his desired training schedule, he'll be present at the beginning of the Jaguars' offseason program in April.
Patriots' Malcolm Butler: Recovering from sprained knee
Butler became instantly famous with his game-winning interception of Russell Wilson in last year's Super Bowl, and the loss of Darrelle Revis in free agency elevated him to the
Seahawks' Thomas Rawls: Expects to be healthy by training camp
Rawls' season came to an abrupt end in Week 14, when he sustained a broken ankle, but not before notching 147 carries for 830 yards, nine receptions (on 11 targets) for 76 yards, and five touchdowns. He was afforded seven starts with Marshawn Lynch on the mend often, powering his breakout with four 100-yard performances. Still in the early stages of his recovery, Rawls requires a scooter to move about, as his foot remains in a cast. With Lynch's future with the Seahawks, let alone football, up in the air, Rawls may have a starting gig locked up in the not-too-distant future.
Broncos' T.J. Ward: Listed as probable
Ward took a seat at the tail end of the season for three games due to an ankle injury, but four appearances in the interim have confirmed that he can play through the pain. In 14 outings this season (including playoffs), he's posted 71 tackles (55 solo), two sacks, and two forced fumbles.
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