Cleveland Browns defensive end Olivier Vernon was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday.
The honor comes after Vernon posted three sacks, including one that resulted in a safety, of quarterback Carson Wentz in Cleveland’s 22-17 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
In addition to harassing Wentz all day, Vernon finished with five tackles and one pass defensed. It was the first time that Vernon had three sacks in a game since December 1, 2013, when he was still with the Miami Dolphins, and the most for a Browns player since Myles Garrett did it on September 16 of last season, according to clevelandbrowns.com.
Finally, Vernon is the first player to have three sacks and a safety in an NFL game since 2014.
Vernon’s performance was exactly what the Browns were hoping to see on a regular basis when they acquired Vernon in a trade from the New York Giants prior to last season. Injuries limited him to just 10 games last season and he has missed two so far this year, so it was nice to see him finally get back on track.
The Browns will need more of that this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars as Garrett will miss his second consecutive game after being placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list.
Vernon is the fourth Cleveland player to be honored with a league award this season. He joins Garrett, who was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for Week 4 and AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October; quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week 7; and left tackle Jedrick Wills Jr., who was the NFL Rookie of the Week for Week 10, according to the team’s website.