While their teams get the weekend off in the first round of the NFC playoffs, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and Falcons return man Eric Weems are being recognized as the NFC players of the month.
Urlacher gets the defensive player of the month award after a December (and one game in January) in which he had 49 tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and three passes defensed. Urlacher was selected to his seventh Pro Bowl, which puts him in elite company: The only Bears linebackers chosen to more Pro Bowls are Hall of Famers Mike Singletary (10), Dick Butkus (eight) and Bill George (eight). This is Urlacher’s first career player of the month award, and it’s the second straight month that a Bear has received the award. Julius Peppers was the NFC defensive player of the month for November.
Weems earns the special teams player of the month award after a month in which he was the only player to return both a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown. Weems is also a valuable member of the team’s kick coverage, with six special teams tackles in the month.
As we previously noted, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the NFC offensive player of the month.