Chargers Quarterback Justin Herbert Named 2020 Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year
Justin Herbert played his first game as starting quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 20
Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has been named the 2020 Pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year.
Herbert, 22, was chosen for the annual honor from five finalists, each selected for their outstanding performance throughout the 2020-2021 NFL season. The other nominees were Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson, Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson, Indianapolis Colts running back Johnathan Taylor, and Washington Football Team defensive end Chase Young, according to a news release from the Chargers.
The winner of the annual award is chosen by online fan voting.
Herbert celebrated the honor Thursday on Instagram, sharing a photo of himself holding the 2020 Rookie of the Year trophy in the stands of the team's SoFi Stadium.
"Honored to be named the 2020 @pepsi Zero Sugar NFL Rookie of the Year. This one is for you Bolt fam! #boltup," he captioned the post.
Herbert is the first Chargers player to win the honor since wide receiver Keenan Allen in 2013. New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey was the first to be awarded the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year award when it was introduced in 2002. San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa was the most recent winner.
Herbert won the Pepsi Zero Sugar Rookie of the Week award — which is also chosen through online public voting — nine times in 2020, which tied him with Ben Roethlisberger for the most wins since 2004.
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Herbert was selected as the Chargers' backup quarterback in the sixth pick overall in the 2020 draft. He took over the starting position during the second week of the season when starter Tyrod Taylor missed the Sept. 20 game against the Kansas City Chiefs after a team doctor reportedly pierced Taylor's lung by accident during a pregame procedure.
Herbert continued on as starting quarterback for Los Angeles for the rest of the season. He set numerous records, including the most passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback (31) and most total touchdowns by a rookie quarterback in NFL history (36).
The Chargers finished the 2020 season 7-9.