Kuechly is Defensive Rookie of Month

January, 3, 2013
1/03/13
11:50
AM ET
Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly has been named the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Month for December, the league announced Thursday.

Kuechly, who led the NFL in tackles, helped the Panthers get hot at the end of the season. Carolina won its final four games. Kuechly had 59 tackles in December, the most by any NFL player in that span.

Kuechly is only the second player in Carolina history to win Defensive Rookie of the Month. Julius Peppers (in 2002) was the first.

Kuechly began the season on the outside, but moved to the middle after Jon Beason suffered an injury. Kuechly also should be a strong candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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