Chargers linebacker Denzel Perryman has been playing with a shoulder injury for several weeks. Several times in San Diego’s 33-30 overtime win over Atlanta on Sunday he had to come out of the game. Afterwards we asked him just how badly he’s hurt.
“I’m pretty dinged up,” said Perryman after Sunday’s win over the Falcons. “First quarter, fighting through the rest of the game hurt. It is what it is but I’m alright. I made it through the end of the day. I just kept telling myself I’ve gotta finish. You’re good, just let the pain wear off and as soon as it wore off I just got back in the game.”
That’s the kind of attitude that wins you admirers inside and outside the locker room. The fact Denzel was able to not just overcome the pain, but make two of the biggest defensive plays of the game, speaks to what kind of leader he is.
Perryman picked off a Matt Ryan pass in the 4th quarter to set up San Diego’s game-tying field goal then stuffed Devonta Freeman in the backfield on 4th and 1 to put the Bolts in position to kick the game-winner in overtime.
For his efforts Perryman was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Week on Wednesday. He was deserving of the award based on those two plays alone but Denzel added six more tackles and a pass defense for good measure. This is his first career Player of the Week award, but very likely not his last.
He is also the first Chargers defender to win the award since 2012 when Donald Butler … the man whose job Perryman took … won it.