Chris Horton was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
The Washington Redskins rookie safety found out via text message just that morning that he would be making his first NFL start. The text was from Reed Doughty, the usual starter, informing Horton that he had the flu and that he wouldn't be able to play. I asked him if he had time to get nervous.
"Yes, I did," he said.
But he settled down. "At the beginning of the game I just relaxed and had fun."
The Saints didn't have much fun dealing with Horton. Their first drive ended when Horton fell on a Jeremy Shockey fumble. Their second drive ended when Horton picked off a Drew Brees pass via a Fred Smoot tip. New Orleans' last drive ended when Demetric Evans got a paw on a pass and Horton came down with the ball.
The end result was a big win for the team and the POTW honors for Horton.
Horton's chances of garnering any player of the month awards or anything bigger seem to be remote. When asked if Horton's performance had earned him Doughty's starting job, Jim Zorn had a simple answer: "No."