Xavier Rhodes is getting his recognition on a national level after the Minnesota Vikings cornerback was named the NFC defensive player of the week following the first two-interception game of his career.
Rhodes set the franchise record for longest interception return when he stepped in front of a Carson Palmer pass at the goal line, intercepted it and returned it 100 yards for a touchdown on Sunday. He added another interception in that game. It brought his season total to a career-high four interceptions.
While he has heard from family and friends about his big game, he was quickly moving on to preparations for the Detroit Lions on a short week of practice before the Vikings’ Thanksgiving game.
“It’s just been strictly text messages. After that, I haven’t really spoken to anyone,” Rhodes said. “I just try to stay focused to the next game because it’s a short week. I’m trying to stay focused on that and leave that behind me and continue to play well.”
His 100-yard interception return is the longest in the NFL this season. He reached 22.4 miles per hour during that return, according to NFL NextGen stats, the fastest speed recorded by an NFL ball carrier in Week 11. In fact, Cordarrelle Patterson was the next-fastest during his 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at 21.48 MPH.