Injuries, performance levels leave Bears on outside looking in at Pro Bowl

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The bigger surprise would likely have been if a Bear had made the 2015 NFC Pro Bowl roster. But for the first time since 1998, when the Bears imploded to a 4-12 season at the end of a five-year run with no Pro Bowlers, no Bears will be playing in an NFL’s annual All-Star Game, unless someone is named as an alternate prior to the game on Jan. 31.

The undefeated Carolina Panthers placed 10 players on the NFC roster, including former Bears tight end Greg Olsen. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall made the squad as a New York Jet, the fourth team (Bears, Broncos, Dolphins) Marshall has represented in Pro Bowls.

Martellus Bennett (2014), Matt Forte (2013) and Alshon Jeffery (2013) have been selected to past Pro Bowls. But all have been hampered by injuries this season, Bennett on IR with a rib injury, Forte missing three games with a knee strain and Jeffery playing just nine games, ranking 46th among wide receivers with 54 catches through Sunday.

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Kyle Long was selected last season but as a guard, for the second straight season, and his switch to tackle has not left him at a Pro Bowl level to this point.

Jay Cutler went in 2008 as a Denver Bronco but this year, despite consistently delivering some of the best performances of his career, is 19th among the 20 quarterbacks currently with passer ratings 90 and higher. All six quarterbacks selected this year ranked 12th or higher: Russell Wilson (1), Carson Palmer (2), Tom Brady (4), Cam Newton (6), Ben Roethlisberger (10) and Aaron Rodgers (12).

The Bears were one of six teams with no one selected, along with Indianapolis, Jacksonville, New Orleans and San Diego.

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