Pro Bowl voters — players, coaches, fans — declined to place any Bears on the 2016 Pro Bowl roster. An alternate selection is still possible — guard Kyle Long was a 2015 alternate, tight end Martellus Bennett went as a replacement in 2014 — but for now the 3-11 Bears are one of six teams sending no one to the NFL’s annual all-star game.
But as much as at any time in recent memory, a different group of all-star selections may be more meaningful for the Bears long term.
Three different Bears — linebacker Leonard Floyd, center Cody Whitehair, running back Jordan Howard — are among the most frequently cited members of the 2016 all-rookie team, which in the Bears case represents the future, not just the present.
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Dallas Cowboys rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott was voted as an NFC starter with 1,551 rushing yards and 5.0 yards per carry. Howard is second among rookies with 1,059 yards on 100-plus fewer carries.
“I don’t wanna talk about the Pro Bowl, but I think Jordan’s had a really good year and he’s helped this football team,” said offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains. “Obviously, it hasn’t shown in the win-loss column, but he’s helped our offense. He’s a good running back. I think he can get a lot better. He’s gonna be a big part of this organization going forward.”
Floyd with seven sacks is behind only San Diego Chargers' Joey Bosa (7.5) among rookie pass rushers. Whitehair moved to center the week before the season opened and has anchored an offensive line that ranks top-10 in rushing average and sacks allowed per pass play.