LAKE FOREST, Ill. – Bears defensive end Julius Peppers and return specialist Devin Hester on Monday were named to the Associated Press’ NFL All-Pro team.
Defensive end Julius Peppers registered eight sacks in his first season with the Bears.
Peppers, the Bears’ first defensive end to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Richard Dent in 1993, tied for the team lead with eight sacks. He also recorded 50 tackles, two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Peppers was named to the All-Pro team for the third time in his career. He was a key member of a Bears defense that tied for third in the NFL with 35 takeaways, second in rushing yards allowed, third in opponent passer rating and sixth in third-down percentage.
Hester was also named All Pro for the third time. He led the NFL in punt returns with a career-high and Bears-record 17.1-yard average and three touchdowns.
In a division-clinching win over the Vikings Dec. 20, he set an all-time league record with his 14th career kick return TD when he brought back a punt 64 yards.
Hester also topped the NFL in kickoff returns with a 35.6-yard average, but his 12 returns were shy of the required 20 returns needed to officially qualify in the league rankings.
In the fold: The Bears on Monday signed six players who were on their practice squad to reserve/future contracts: Guard Johan Asiata, cornerback K.J. Gerard, tackle Levi Horn, linebackers Chris Johnson and Patrick Trahan, and fullback Eddie Williams.