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Hayes Earns NFC Honors


Linebacker Gerald Hayes celebrates after forcing a fumble Sunday during the Cards' 34-10 victory over the St. Louis Rams.

Gerald Hayes has always been a quiet guy, and he tried to stay that way after forcing a career-best two fumbles during the Cardinals' 34-10 division-clinching win over the Rams Sunday.

"I was just blessed to be in those situations and make a play," the linebacker said.

Hayes clearly let his play talk for him, collecting 11 tackles, a half-sack and a tackle for loss – numbers that spoke to the selection committee for the NFC defensive player of the week award, which was given to Hayes Tuesday.

With three games left, Hayes is 14 tackles shy of his third straight 100-tackle season.

The Cardinals recovered both forced fumbles, including Darnell Dockett's 11-yard return for a touchdown. The Cardinals lead the NFL with 15 fumble recoveries and their 26 takeaways this season ranks second to the Bears (27) in the NFL.

Hayes becomes the fifth Cardinal to win a player of the week award this season. Quarterback Kurt Warner, special teamer Sean Morey, safety Antrel Rolle and kicker Neil Rackers have all been so honored this season.

Contact Darren Urban at Posted 12/9/08.

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