Jordan Howard, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Long, and Tarik Cohen Named Pro Bowl Alternates

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Jordan Howard, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Long, and Tarik Cohen Named Pro Bowl Alternates

Chicago Bears

Four members of the Chicago Bears – Jordan Howard, Akiem Hicks, Kyle Long, and Tarik Cohen – find themselves on standby as they await word of their potential inclusion on the NFC’s Pro Bowl roster.

No Bears were voted into the game when the teams were announced on Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean non will participate. Indeed, on Wednesday, the team announced that running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, as well as guard Kyle Long, were chosen as second alternates, while Akiem Hicks was picked as a fourth alternate.

Couple Notes Upfront: 1. If Cohen makes it to the Pro Bowl, it will be as a return specialist, and 2. Long won’t play in the game regardless, after his season ended with a trip injured reserve earlier this month.

Howard arguably has the best chance at making the Pro Bowl, given the likelihood that one of the three running backs selected (Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara (Saints) and Todd Gurley (Rams)) will play postseason ball and could ultimately be unavailable, because of a potential Super Bowl trip. Howard’s 1,069 yards are the fourth most in the NFL and second most in the conference behind Gurley.

The Bears didn’t have any Pro Bowl players voted on the team last year either, but Howard and guard Josh Sitton represented the team after players ahead of them dropped off. There’s a good chance that happens for Howard again, and possibly even defensive end Akiem Hicks.

As I mentioned, Hicks was selected as a fourth alternate, which is surprisingly low considering his career-high eight sacks this season. The sack numbers come despite playing the role of a 3-4 defensive end – a position that doesn’t lend itself to players racking up huge sack totals. But I digress.

That the Bears have four Pro Bowl alternates is somewhat impressive if you consider the team’s 4-9 record. It’s almost as though good players are being punished for being on a bad team. If the Bears can get it turned around, the popularity of some of their unheralded stars will only grow.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.