For the second time in as many months, a 49ers defensive stalwart has earned the NFC’s top in-season honor.
Linebacker Fred Warner has been named the conference’s defensive player of the month for November, the NFL announced Thursday. He follows rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who won the award in October.
Warner racked up 44 tackles, three sacks and four tackles for loss in four games last month, plus two big forced fumbles. His consistency was remarkable, making at least 10 tackles in each game.
This Hot Boy is just heatin’ up
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) December 5, 2019
He was the NFC’s defensive player of the week in the Niners’ rout of the Green Bay Packers, registering 11 tackles including a strip-sack of Aaron Rodgers that started the Niners off on the right foot.
The San Marcos native has stepped up in the absence of Kwon Alexander, lost for the season with a torn pectoral muscle suffered Halloween night in a win over Arizona.
All Warner has done since then is stay steady, picking up the slack and filling in Alexander’s leadership role on the Niners’ standout defense.
“It’s usually (Warner) calling the plays and Kwon being the energy guy,” Bosa said after the Niners’ Dec. 11 loss to Seattle. “Now it’s him doing both, so he calls the play, gets us lined up and brings the energy.”
According to the Niners, Warner is the league’s only linebacker with 90 tackles, three sacks, three forced fumbles and six passes defended. While those criteria may be cherry-picked, they also show off just how versatile Warner has been on one of the NFL’s premier defenses.