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updated: 12/27/2013 10:14 PM

Marshall, Forte picked for Pro Bowl

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  • Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has posted his seventh 1,000-yard season of his eight in the league and has already tied his career best with 11 touchdown catches, sixth in the league. He's tied for fifth in the NFL with 94 catches.

      Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall has posted his seventh 1,000-yard season of his eight in the league and has already tied his career best with 11 touchdown catches, sixth in the league. He's tied for fifth in the NFL with 94 catches.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Bears running back Matt Forte is third in the league with 1,776 yards from scrimmage, including 1,229 rushing and 547 receiving. His 70 receptions are a career best, and he needs 10 rushing yards against the Packers on Sunday to eclipse his personal best of 1,238, which was set in his rookie season in 2008.

      Bears running back Matt Forte is third in the league with 1,776 yards from scrimmage, including 1,229 rushing and 547 receiving. His 70 receptions are a career best, and he needs 10 rushing yards against the Packers on Sunday to eclipse his personal best of 1,238, which was set in his rookie season in 2008.
    Associated Press

 
 

Wide receiver Brandon Marshall and running back Matt Forte are the only Bears selected for the Pro Bowl.

Marshall posted his seventh 1,000-yard season of his eight in the league and has already tied his career best with 11 touchdown catches, sixth in the league. He's tied for fifth in the NFL with 94 catches.

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Forte is third in the league with 1,776 yards from scrimmage, including 1,229 rushing and 547 receiving. His 70 receptions are a career best, and he needs 10 rushing yards against the Packers on Sunday to eclipse his personal best of 1,238, which was set in his rookie season in 2008.

In a bit of a snub, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was not selected to join Marshall in the all-star game in Honolulu on Jan. 26, 2014.

Going into his second the season, the Bears hoped Jeffery would provide a competent complement to Marshall, who was selected for the fifth time.

But Jeffery has been much, much more -- even outdoing the veteran and his mentor in some statistical categories. While Marshall has 1,221 yards, Jeffery has 1,341 yards on 86 catches, averaging 15.6 yards per catch to Marshall's 13.0.

"He's given our football team balance," Bears coach Marc Trestman said of the second-round pick from South Carolina. "He's given us a big-play threat, he's given us another option for our quarterback, and he's take some of the heat off of Brandon, so he gets that single coverage a little bit more.

"All in all, No. 1, he's been a great teammate, consistent. If you've had a chance to get to know him, you'd see how consistent his demeanor is. He's not a flashy guy when he walks off the field. But on the field, he certainly flashes."

Jeffery set the franchise record with 218 receiving yards against the Saints on Oct. 6 and then shattered it on Dec. 1 with 249 yards against the Vikings, becoming one of only eight players in NFL history with two 200-yard games in the same season.

No regrets:

The off-season decision to remove Devin Hester from the wide receiver equation and make him strictly a return specialist was surprising. The Bears had, at one time, considered Hester a No. 1 receiver -- even though he never lived up to those expectations.

But Hester has had a productive season. He is fifth in the NFL with a 28.0-yard average on kickoff returns and would be sixth in punt returns with a 12.2-yard average, although his 17 attempts aren't enough to qualify.

"I haven't looked back at it in any event," Trestman said of his decision. "We've had some good moments. We want more, and we're hoping to get that one this week that can really catapult us and allow us to explode a little bit."

Hester, who was not selected for a fourth Pro Bowl on Friday night, needs 1 more return touchdown for 20, which would move him into sole possession of first place in NFL history.

Health beat:

Linebacker Lance Briggs (shoulder) is probable after full participation in Friday's practice inside the Walter Payton Center. Wide receiver Earl Bennett is questionable after missing practice all week because of a personal family matter. If he isn't back for the game, it would mean more playing time for special teams standout Eric Weems and rookie Marquess Wilson.

For the Packers, linebacker Clay Matthews (thumb surgery) is out, but their other nine players listed on the injury report are all probable.

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