It's been a long road back to the field for D'Qwell Jackson, and the Cleveland Browns linebacker is more than making up for lost time.
Jackson, who missed the final 10 games of the 2009 season and all of 2010 with separate torn pectoral muscles, was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September after registering 30 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery, helping the Browns to a 2-1 start.
Jackson's 30 tackles tie him for fourth in the NFL and his 2.5 sacks rank second among all AFC linebackers. Jackson's play is a big reason why the Browns have only allowed five touchdowns this season -- tied for the fourth-lowest total in the league.
Jackson is the fourth Cleveland player to be selected as the AFC's top defensive player since the award was established in 1986 and first since Eric Turner in December 1994.
The team has expressed interest in signing the 28-year-old Jackson to a contract extension.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.