For the second straight year, the Chicago Bears have been absent from the Pro Bowl’s initial roster.
Regardless of how entertaining the Pro Bowl is, the honor of being named to the roster remains. Unfortunately, no Chicago Bears will experience that feeling this year as they have gone without a Pro Bowl player for two straight years.
Last year contained a technicality with Kyle Long earning a spot after a number of players dropped out. However, he was not named to the initial roster (Keep in mind that Long played tackle last season).
Last year’s omission from the Pro Bowl was understandable considering the various injuries and lack of any standout-out players. However, this year brought about a number of true contenders out of the Windy City.
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Jordan Howard immediately comes to mind when thinking about players who got snubbed. He surpassed 1000 yards against the Packers with just over 200 attempts. Howard’s 5.0 yards per carry average ranks in the top 5 of the NFL.
Akiem Hicks is another player who performed at an All-Pro level this season. He has racked up 7.0 sacks to go along with 46 tackles and 2 forced fumbles. His ability to dominate his gap in the run game continuously flies under the radar.
Josh Sitton is the last Bears player who truly stands out as a snub from the Pro Bowl. After being cut by Green Bay, he quickly signed a lucrative contract with the Bears. Needless to say, Sitton has been worth every penny. Lineman not named Kyle Long generally go without recognition in Chicago, but Sitton is a large reason why Howard is experiencing success as a runner. Unfortunately, Sitton probably lost out on his Pro Bowl spot when he missed a couple games with an ankle injury.
Leonard Floyd, Jerrell Freeman, and Cody Whitehair also put in solid seasons, but they all had fatal flaws when it comes to Pro Bowl voting. Floyd has recorded three multi-sack games, but he has been held without a sack in 6 contests. Freeman was a lock for the Pro Bowl, but then he was administered a 4 game suspension for PED use. Whitehair has played great for the most part, but he had a three-game stretch in the middle of the year where his performance dipped significantly.
It could be worse for the Chicago Bears. In all likelihood, a Monster of the Midway will likely find their way to Orlando. A number of players opt out of the Pro Bowl due to being in the Super Bowl, or for health reasons. Regardless, a number of young players look poised to break the Bears’ Pro Bowl drought in the very near future.