Justin Bethel named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Month”

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Cardinals cornerback Justin Bethel continues to show himself as being one of the premier special teams players in the NFL.

December has been a very special month for Bethel, and he was awarded yet again for his efforts on the field. Bethel was named “NFC Special Teams Player of the Month” for the final month of the year.

During the month, Bethel led the NFL with eight special teams tackles – five of them coming at the 20-yard line or inside. Bethel also forced a fumble and downed a punt at the five-yard line.

Bethel got his eight special teams tackles in a two-game span in Week 14 vs. Chiefs [four] and four days later in Week 15 in St. Louis against the Rams [four]. In addition to the honor, Bethel was also selected to his second straight Pro Bowl as a special teamer. Bethel joins Ron Wolfley [1986-89] as the only players in team history to be selected to multiple Pro Bowls as a special teams player.

This season marked the third consecutive season that Bethel led the team in special teams tackles [18]. He also blocked his third career field goal in Arizona’s Week Nine victory in Arlington, Tex., over the Cowboys. Bethel earned his first career NFC Special Teams Player of the Week award for his performance.

Bethel is the first Cardinals Player of the Month selection since 2011 when rookie punt returner Patrick Peterson won the award in November of that year.

Other than Peterson and Bethel, the Cardinals have been named Player of the Month just five other times since the award began in 1986: QB Neil Lomax (October, 19880, QB Boomer Esiason (November, 1996), S Kwamie Lassiter (November, 2001) and K Neil Rackers (October and December, 2005).


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