Royal's 146 receiving yards marked the sixth-highest total by a player making his NFL debut since 1960 and led the NFL for Kickoff Weekend. His receiving yardage was the third-highest single-game total by a rookie in Broncos history.
Royal's 185 combined yards and 155 yards from scrimmage were the most in the AFC for Week 1. With nine receptions, the Virginia Tech University product set Broncos franchise single-game rookie records for most catches in a game as well as most catches in an NFL debut.
Royal was selected from among five finalists through fan votes on NFL.com/rookies and via Sprint wireless service. The other finalists were quarterback JOE FLACCO of the Baltimore Ravens, running back MATT FORTÉ of the Chicago Bears, running back CHRIS JOHNSON of the Tennessee Titans and quarterback MATT RYAN of the Atlanta Falcons.
After the regular season, five players will be nominated for Diet Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year honors. Fans can vote for the winner on NFL.com/rookies and via Sprint wireless service throughout the month of January. The winner will be announced at a press conference at Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa Bay.
This is Pepsi's seventh year as the official soft drink sponsor of the NFL and the fourth year that Diet Pepsi will present the NFL Rookie of the Week and NFL Rookie of the Year awards.
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