Chargers' Casey Hayward wins AFC defensive player of the month

COSTA MESA, Calif -- Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward earned AFC defensive player of the month for his production in November.

Hayward totaled three interceptions and seven pass breakups in three games, including a two-interception effort in a 54-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 11. He's the first Chargers defensive back to be named defensive player of the month since Antonio Cromartie in 2007.

Hayward has started all 11 games, collecting four interceptions and 30 tackles. He led the league in interceptions last season with seven, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl.

The award comes during a trying week for the veteran cornerback. Hayward returned to Georgia to be with family after the death of his brother Jecaives Hayward, who was killed Monday night in Macon when he was ejected from a car in which he was a passenger.

"He needs to go home and be with his family, and we'll take care of this," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. "If he makes it back and plays, it's great. If he doesn't, we certainly understand. But our thoughts and prayers are with Casey. And we just want him to go home and be with his family right now."