After a struggling start to the 2020 season, Buffalo Bills linebacker A.J. Klein has really bounced back with some stellar defensive performances over the past few weeks. Over the past three starts in place of injured linebacker Matt Milano, the Klein has produced well with a combined 30 tackles, five tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, seven quarterback hits, two passes defended, and a forced fumble and fumble recovery.
This past week against the Los Angeles Chargers at Bills Stadium in Orchard Park, Klein accounted for a career-high 14 tackles, which included three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits, 1.5 sacks and a pass defended.
With that performance, paired with a win to help get the Bills to 8-3 on the season, Klein has been named as the AFC Defensive Player of the Week.
It is the first time in Klein’s career that he has earned the honor of AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The 29-year-old is also the first Bills linebacker to earn the honor from the NFL since Milano did so back in the 2018 season against the Minnesota Vikings.
Klein is the second Bills defensive player to be named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week in the 2020 season. Defensive end Jerry Hughes earned the same honor back in Week 7 after an 18-10 win over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.
Overall this season, Klein has put up some respectable numbers with 58 total tackles, five tackles for loss, two passes defended and two forced fumbles, while also setting career-high numbers in sacks (5.0) and quarterback hits (8).
Klein joins Hughes and quarterback Josh Allen as Bills players to be named as an AFC Player of the Week this season. Allen has been named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice this season for his Week 2 performance against the Miami Dolphins and Week 9 performance against the Seattle Seahawks.