Defensive end VICTOR ADEYANJU of the St. Louis Rams, running back JOSEPH ADDAI of the Indianapolis Colts, wide receiver MARQUES COLSTON of the New Orleans Saints, linebacker A.J. HAWK of the Green Bay Packers and defensive back DEVIN HESTER of the Chicago Bears are the finalists for NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK honors for games played on November 12-13, the NFL announced Tuesday.
Fans can vote for one of these five players on NFL.com beginning Tuesday at 9am EST and ending Thursday at 5pm EST to determine the NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK. The NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK will be announced Thursday evening on NFL.com.
In addition, for the second year, NFL fans may cast their votes for the NFL ROOKIE OF THE WEEK using phones with Sprint wireless service - an opportunity available only to Sprint customers. This fast, convenient voting method involves texting the word PEPSI to short code 7777. Sprint customers will then receive an interactive text message that links fans to the ballot with the five finalists each week. Data and text messaging rates may apply.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com and via Sprint wireless service throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLI in South Florida.
A closer look at the finalists:
-St. Louis's Victor Adeyanju recorded five tackles and recovered a fumble, returning it 89 yards for a touchdown in the Rams' 24-22 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Making his seventh NFL start, Adeyanju recovered a Seattle fumble in the first quarter and rumbled 89 yards for his first career NFL touchdown and a 7-0 Rams lead.
-Indianapolis' Joseph Addai carried 13 times for 78 yards and one touchdown in the Colts' 17-16 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Addai, who added seven catches for 46 yards, scored on a five-yard touchdown run to put Indianapolis in front 17-10 in the third quarter. He has three rushing touchdowns this season.
-New Orleans' Marques Colston caught 10 passes for 169 yards in the Saints' 38-31 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Colston, who has quickly become quarterback Drew Brees' favorite target, leads the NFL with 869 receiving yards and ranks fifth with 54 receptions this season.
-Green Bay's A.J. Hawk recorded 13 total tackles and 1.5 sacks, and forced one fumble in the Packers' 23-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Early in the third quarter, Hawk sacked the Vikings quarterback for a 10-yard loss. He later combined with teammate Nick Barnett for another 10-yard sack, giving him four this season.
-Chicago's Devin Hester tied an NFL and club record with a 108-yard missed field goal return for a touchdown in the Bears' 38-20 victory over the New York Giants. With the Bears leading 24-20 early in the fourth quarter, Hester caught a short Giants field goal attempt deep in his own endzone and dashed 108 yards to give Chicago a 31-20 lead. The return tied the NFL record set by Hester's teammate Nathan Vasher in 2005.