Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery made people’s jaws drop plenty in his second NFL season.
On Thursday, it was announced that the South Carolina product will be taking Calvin Johnson’s spot in the Pro Bowl, joining teammates Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte.
Johnson withdrew from the all-star game due to a knee injury that’s bothered him all season. Jeffery will take his spot as an alternate.
Jeffery proved that he was well worthy of a Pro Bowl honor with his 89 catches, 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns on the season. Jeffery and Marshall become the first Bears wide receiver duo to be selected to the Pro Bowl together.
The 1,421 yards are the second-most in team history, behind Marshall’s 1,508 in 2012.
The game in Hawaii will be played on Jan. 26, while the first ever Pro Bowl draft will be held on Jan. 22 on NFL Network.
The league is trying to make the Pro Bowl exciting, so they opted to split up the teams via a fantasy draft rather than play the AFC vs. NFC format of old.
“I’m extremely blessed and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl,” Jeffery said Thursday morning. “I want to thank Coach Groh, Coach Trestman and the rest of my teammates for putting me in a position to succeed this season.”
Jeffery graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 wideout under the direction of head coach Marc Trestman and wide receivers coach Mike Groh. Playing opposite Brandon Marshall certainly helped plenty as the duo proved how dangerous they were.
In Week Five against New Orleans, Jeffery broke the franchise’s single-game receiving yards record, hauling in 218 yards. In Week 13, Jeffery made history once again by reeling in 249 yards.
The 6-foot-3 receiver flashed plenty of potential during his rookie campaign (2012), but battled through hand and knee injuries, which limited his production.
Jeffery came into the 2013 season in much better shape as he worked out with Brandon Marshall down in Florida during the off-season. He added plenty of muscle and clearly was ready to take the next step. It paid off big time this year.
The Pro Bowl nod is well deserving. I thought he should have made it initially, but with so much talent voted in it’s really hard to fit some of these young players into the game.
Either way, the Bears have by far the best wide receiver tandem in the league with Marshall and Jeffery. If they both can stay healthy, the Bears offense will be dangerous for years to come.
We saw plenty of instances of that this season, despite an 8-8 record.
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