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Bears to send two players to 2021 Pro Bowl

The Bears will be sending just two of their star players to the virtual 2021 Pro Bowl.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Bears announced on Monday that edge rusher Khalil Mack and return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson have been named to the NFC’s roster for the 2021 Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl game itself will not be played due to COVID-19 restrictions, but will instead be a week-long virtual event in which celebrities, NFL players and legends, and video game streamers play as the rosters in the Madden NFL 21 video game.

With two players on their roster representing the NFC this year, the Bears fall two players shy of their total from last year, when they sent four of their players to Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

Mack’s appearance marks his sixth-consecutive Pro Bowl nomination and his third as a member of the Bears. The 2016 Defensive Player of the Year is tied for 11th in the league with 8 sacks, placing him in a tie for eighth place among edge rushers in the NFL. Mack also has three forced fumbles, 44 total tackles, 9 tackles for a loss and is tied for 12th in the league with 12 quarterback hurries. While 2020 has not exactly been the best season of his career, he has still been one of the most effective pass-rushers in the NFL.

Patterson has now made the Pro Bowl in both of his two seasons with the Bears—he made it last season as a general special teamer, as opposed to being a return specialist. This year marks his fourth career appearance in the Pro Bowl. Patterson leads the league in numerous kick returning statistics, topping the league with 32 returns and 942 yards, as well as a return average of 29.4 yards that ties for the best in the NFL. He is also one of just seven players to return a kickoff for a touchdown in 2020.

Of the Bears players not selected to the Pro Bowl, Roquan Smith stands out as the biggest snub. The 2018 No. 8 overall pick has really come into his own this season, tallying a career-high 128 tackles with two games left in the regular season. His total places him in a tie for the fourth-most in the NFL and the third-most in the NFC. 89 of those tackles have come as solo tackles, which is the second-highest tally in the league. Smith is also second in the league with 17 tackles for a loss and has four sacks and five pass deflections.