The honor is Thomas' second league award of the season. He was named NFL Rookie of the Month in October.
Thomas is the NFC's leading rookie rusher with 865 yards on 196 (4.4 yards per carry) carries trailing only LaDainian Tomlinson's league-leading rookie total of 1,053 yards on 298 carries (3.5 ypc). The 6-1, 226 pounder out of Michigan is on pace to eclipse Rashaan Salaam's 1995 rookie record of 1,074 yards and needs just 210 yards in the final three games of the season (70 yards per game) to set a new mark despite missing two starts with a sore hamstring. He currently ranks fourth on the Bears rookie rushing list just two yards behind Gale Sayers' 1965 total of 867 yards. Beattie Feathers is second on the list. He gained 1,004 yards in 1934.
Dick Jauron said he wasn't been surprised by Thomas' solid season.
"We took him high in the draft. We thought he was really an excellent back. And he's proven that that's what it is. Of course he's got a way's to go. He's still learning how to play, but he's done a terrific job for us. No, I'm not surprised, just very pleased."
INJURY REPORT: Rex Tucker is the only Bear who is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Washington. Fred Baxter, Blake Brockermeyer, R.W. McQuarters and Keith Traylor are all listed as probable.
Washington running back Stephen Davis is questionable with a knee problem. Other injuries include LB Kevin Mitchell questionable with an ankle, TE Stephen Alexander is doubtful with an ankle sprain, while offensive lineman Matt Campbell is doubtful with a knee injury.
LB LaVar Arrington, FB Donnell Bennett and TE Walter Rasby are all probable.
The Bears have also signed wide receiver Wille Spencer and waived wide receiver Ramondo North from the practice squad on Tuesday.