Roughly 72 hours before Super Bowl 56 kicks off in Los Angeles, a trio of former Tigers playing in the game were honored by the NFL at the annual NFL Honors show.
Ja’Marr Chase was named the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, Joe Burrow was named AP Comeback Player of the Year, and Andrew Whitworth won the prestigious Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Chase, the fifth overall selection in the NFL Draft, caught 81 passes for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns. Chase smashed all kinds of records both in NFL and franchise records: the 1,455 yards is an NFL rookie record, breaking Justin Jefferson’s mark set just last season; the 1,455 yards is a single season record for Cincinnati; in week 17 against the Chiefs Chase set the single game rookie receiving record with 286 yards; and through the Bengals’ first three playoff games he’s accumulated 279 yards which is, you guessed it, an NFL record. He’s also the first rookie to have multiple 100+ yard games in a postseason.
Burrow won Comeback Player of the Year after bouncing back in stellar fashion from his torn ACL suffered in November of 2020. Burrow would go on to lead the NFL in completion percentage at 70.4% and throw for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns. He also set a Bengals single game record for passing yards with 525 against the Ravens.
Burrow has, of course, been on a tear this postseason completing 68 percent of his passes for 842 yards and four touchdowns en route to Cincinnati’s first Super Bowl appearance since 1988.
Whitworth won maybe the most prestigious award the NFL has to offer. Whitworth has been doing outstanding work in the Los Angeles community through his Big Whit Homes for L.A Families Program. Launched prior to this season, Whitworth has been donating $20,000 after every Rams home game this year. He also works with non-profits in and around L.A. that helps pay rent and provide groceries; Whitworth also led charitable efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Ida hit in August.