The argument could be made that Alshon Jeffery should have been voted to the Pro Bowl right off the bat.
He wasn't, despite a break-out season, but the Bears' second-year wide receiver will join teammates Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte in Hawaii after being named to replace the injured Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.
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The 6-foot-3, 217-pound Jeffery will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance. He finished sixth in the NFL in receiving yards (1,421) and seventh in yards from scrimmage (1,526), which was second in the league among wide receivers. Jeffery was 10th in the league with 89 receptions, and he had 7 touchdown catches.
Jeffery was a second-round pick out of South Carolina in 2012. As a rookie, he caught 24 passes for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns while battling through multiple injuries.
"Just being from where I came from to where I am now, what I'm doing … it's just special to be part of the success we're having as a team," Jeffery said. "I want to thank my mama and my family. I'm going to continue to make you all proud."
Jeffery's 1,421 receiving yards this season are the second most in franchise history, trailing only Marshall's 1,508 in 2012, and his 89 receptions are sixth among Bears all-time.
Jeffery produced the only 200-yard receiving games in franchise history this season. On Oct. 6, he had 218 yards on 10 catches, including 1 TD against the New Orleans Saints. Less than two months later, on Dec. 6, he picked up 249 yards on 12 catches with 2 touchdowns against the Minnesota Vikings. Only eight players in NFL history have two 200-yard games in the same season.
Jeffery and Marshall are the first pair of Bears wide receivers to be named to the Pro Bowl in the same season.
They combined for 2,716 yards, the most in franchise history and the second most in the NFL this season behind the Broncos' Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker.
"I'm extremely blessed and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl," Jeffery said. "I want to thank (wide receivers) coach (Mike) Groh, coach (Marc) Trestman and the rest of my teammates for putting me in a position to succeed this season," Jeffery said. "Thanks to all the fans for all of the support this season, and I'm looking forward to playing with Brandon and Matt in Hawaii."
The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 26 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.