Linebacker Chris Borland, who finished with double digit tackles in four of the five games he started in November, has been named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the month.
The honor is just the latest for Borland, a third-round draft pick who was playing special teams when starter Patrick Willis went out with a toe injury on Oct. 13. Borland has played every snap in Willis’ place since. Willis had season-ending surgery last month.
Borland’s highlight reel includes a Nov. 16 game against the Giants in which he had 13 tackles and two interceptions. Once of his opponents that day, receiver Odell Beckham, was named the offensive rookie of the month.
According to the NFL, Borland is the only player in the last 20 years to record 70 tackles and two interceptions in one month. His main competition for defensive rookie of the year (DROY), Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosely, has started every game and currently ranks sixth in the league with 105 tackles. Both Mosely and Borland are on pace for 140 tackles.
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Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.