The Chicago Bears have dealt with plenty of injuries and poor performance on the defensive side of the ball this season, but one of the few bright spots in that phase was recognized by the NFL on Thursday morning.
That's because cornerback Kyle Fuller, who has three interceptions and two forced fumbles in four games this season, was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. Fuller, who was chosen with the 14th overall pick in May's NFL Draft, has been a solid replacement for Charles Tillman at the outside corner spot after the veteran tore his triceps for the second year in a row. Fuller's blend of ball-hawking skills and physical approach with receivers has made him a player to watch in NFL circles, and the national media are clearly taking notice.
Fuller will be going up against some tough competition this weekend as he faces the NFC Offensive Player of the Month, with Kelvin Benjamin and the Carolina Panthers awaiting a Week 5 showdown with the Bears. Benjamin has 21 receptions for 329 yards and three touchdowns so far this season, and he has been a vital part of the team's offense with the departure of players like Steve Smith and the health concerns of running back DeAngelo Williams (who won't play against the Bears this week) and quarterback Cam Newton.
Fuller is just the third Bears player to ever win Defensive Rookie of the Month honors, joining Brian Urlacher (October 2000) and Mark Anderson (October 2006) in that category.