Chris Borland has graduated from rookie of the week to defensive player of the week.
The 49ers’ inside linebacker was named the NFC’s defensive player of the week Wednesday after his 12-tackle, two-interception performance against the Giants. It was the third straight week Borland, a third-round pick, finished with double-digit tackles, and he is on pace for 145 1/2 for the season.
Borland is the first 49ers rookie to win the award since defensive end Andre Carter did it in 2001. Borland was the NFL’s rookie of the week following a Week 10 win in New Orleans in which he had 17 tackles and pounced on a loose ball in overtime. He’s been nominated for rookie of the week three straight times.
The Wisconsin product has started only four games but his statistics and impact suggest that, should he maintain his current pace, he has a real shot of being named the defensive rookie of the year at the end of the season. He’d be the first 49er to win the award since the man he’s replacing, Patrick Willis, did it in 2007.
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Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.