LAKE FOREST, IL – Chicago Bears rookie RB Jordan Howard was named to the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl today, replacing Cardinals RB David Johnson who is unable to participate due to injury. Howard joins Gale Sayers as the only two Bears rookie running backs to be named to the Pro Bowl in team history. The 2016 fifth round draft pick (150th overall) is also the first Bears running back to be named to the Pro Bowl since Matt Forte following the 2013 season and the first Bears rookie since Kyle Long also earned those honors following 2013.
This season Howard set a new Bears rookie record, rushing for 1,313 yards on 252 carries (5.2 avg) with six touchdowns in 15 games with 13 starts. He also added 29 receptions for 298 yards (10.3 avg) and one receiving touchdown. His 1,313 rushing yards ranked second in the NFL behind Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott, marking the first time since the 1970 merger that two rookies led the league in rushing. Howard and Elliott were also two of five rookies in NFL history to post 250 rushing attempts with a 5.0 rushing average (Barry Sanders – 1989; Mike Anderson – 2000; Clinton Portis – 2002). The Birmingham, Alabama, native became only the second player in club history to reach the 1,300 yard rushing mark while maintaining a 5.0 yard per carry average (Walter Payton – 1977) and he was the fourth player overall to rush for 1,300 yards in a Bears uniform (Walter Payton – nine times; Matt Forte – once; Thomas Jones – once).
The 2017 NFL Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 29, in Orlando, Florida.