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Colts players get player of the month honors

Jonathan Taylor and DeForest Buckner were awarded NFL Rookie Offensive Player of the Month and AFC Defensive Player of the Month for December, respectively.
Credit: AP
Indianapolis Colts' Jonathan Taylor (28) runs past Jacksonville Jaguars' Jarrod Wilson (26) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

INDIANAPOLIS — Two Indianapolis Colts players are being recognized for their impressive play during the month of December.

The NFL announced defensive tackle DeForest Buckner has been named AFC Defensive Player of the Month, while running back Jonathan Taylor was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month. It's the first time both players have received the honors.

Buckner tallied 18 tackles, six tackles for loss, seven sacks, two passes defensed and one forced fumble through Weeks 13-17. His play earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 15.

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Buckner has been one of only four NFL players to compile at least four tackles, two tackles for loss, three sacks and one forced fumble in a single game this season. He ranks in the top 5 defensive tackles in the NFL in tackles, solo tackles, tackles for loss, sacks and forced fumbles.

Taylor accumulated 97 carries for 651 yards and seven touchdowns in Weeks 13-17. He also caught 10 passes for 72 yards and one touchdown. He had one 250-yard rushing game and another 150-yard rushing game. He had three games with multiple touchdowns over the last five weeks of the regular season.

In Week 17, he set a franchise record for rushing 253 yards on 30 carries — becoming just the second Colts player to run more than 200 yards in a single game. His Week 17 rush total tied him for second among rookies in NFL history.

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Buckner is the first Colts player to earn AFC Defensive Player of the Month honors since linebacker Darius Leonard received the award in 2018 for the month of December. Taylor is the first Colts player to be named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Month since guard/center Quenton Nelson earned the award in October of the 2018 season.

Both players helped get the Colts to a 4-1 record for Weeks 13-17, securing a playoff berth. The Colts head to Buffalo Saturday to play the Bills in a wildcard matchup at Bills Stadium at 1:05 p.m. ET.