Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall go Pro, but not Alshon Jeffery
BY ADAM L. JAHNS Staff Reporter December 27, 2013 10:06PM
Receiver Brandon Marshall, who has 94 receptions for 1,221 yards, was named to his fifth Pro Bowl. | Getty images
Updated: January 29, 2014 6:14AM
Running back Matt Forte and wide receiver Brandon Marshall will be the flag bearers for coach Marc Trestman ’s offensive revolution at the Pro Bowl, but wide receiver Alshon Jeffery got snubbed.
Forte and Marshall earned a trip to Hawaii after getting voted in by fans, players and coaches. Jeffery, whose spectacular catches in his second season have drawn national attention, didn’t make the cut.
Trestman did as promised, turning Forte into one of the league’s most dynamic weapons. He ranks third with a career-high 1,776 total yards from scrimmage and fourth with 1,229 rushing yards.
“It’s a blessing to be selected to the Pro Bowl for a second time,” Forte said in a statement. “I’m thankful to my teammates that helped me achieve success on the field, especially my offensive linemen who work hard blocking for me every day and receivers who unselfishly work hard down the field blocking for me.”
Marshall was named to his fifth Pro Bowl and second straight with the Bears. Marshall remained the Bears’ top target in Trestman’s spread-the-wealth offense with 94 catches for 1,221 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Last week, Marshall, the only Bears receiver to have consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, lobbied for Jeffery to go to Hawaii, saying “It’d be a shame if he was not in the Pro Bowl.”
Jeffery has 86 catches for 1,341 yards and seven touchdowns.
“[Jeffery has] given our football team balance,” Trestman said. “He’s given us a big-play threat, he’s given us another option for our quarterback and he’s taken some of the heat off of Brandon.
“He’s not a flashy guy, you know, when he walks off the field. But on the field, he certainly flashes.”
Wide receivers Eric Weems and Marquess Wilson should see more playing time against the Green Bay Packers with Earl Bennett expected to miss the game. Trestman said Bennett is “really questionable” for Sunday as he tends to a family matter.
“The fact that he hasn’t practiced [this week] is evidence of where we’re going to have to go in this,” Trestman said. “We just want to leave ourselves open. We don’t want to close the door on it yet, but I would say that it’s questionable right now at best.”
Trestman said the Bears can count on Weems and Wilson, a rookie, to handle Bennett’s snaps, saying, “They’ve done very, very well at practice.”
Weems and Wilson each have one catch this season.
“We think they’ll do well and fit in,” Trestman said. “And if Earl’s not with us, we’re going to miss that, certainly, in the locker room and on the field. But we feel very confident in those two guys.”
Pack at play
As expected, Packers running back Eddie Lacy (ankle) practiced in a limited role and was listed as probable.
Linebackers Brad Jones (ankle), Mike Neal (abdomen) and Nick Perry (foot), tight ends Jake Stoneburner (illness), Andrew Quarless (ankle) and Ryan Taylor (illness) and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett (knee) also are probable after being limited or not practicing this week.