Bears rookie running back Jordan Howard capped a week he'll never forget by rushing for 21 yards on five carries in a losing effort Sunday night in the Pro Bowl.
"It was everything I expected," Howard said after the NFC fell to the AFC 20-13 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. "The AFC defense was going a little harder than I thought they were going to go in the first half. But it was fun the whole time."
Howard was voted to the Pro Bowl after finishing second in the NFL in rushing and setting Bears rookie rushing records with 1,313 yards and seven 100-yard games. He became the first Bears rookie running back selected to the Pro Bowl since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965.
"It's special being down here with the best players in the league," Howard said. "Me being a rookie getting this honor is a big honor for me, and anytime I can represent the Bears it's a good thing."
Howard was chosen by the Bears in the fifth round of the draft out of Indiana. He opened the season third on the depth chart and didn't make his first start until Week 4 when both Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey were unable to play due to injuries.
Howard enjoyed his week in Orlando and hopes his first trip to the Pro Bowl won't be his last.
"Anytime you get this honor, being a Pro Bowler, I feel like it's special, so I hope to get many more in the future," Howard said. "A lot of people don't get to do this in their whole career, so me being able to do this in my rookie year, it's very special. It's a big honor and I'm very grateful for it."
Howard was joined on the NFC squad by Bears teammate Josh Sitton, a veteran guard who played in his third straight Pro Bowl and fourth overall in nine NFL seasons.
"It's always a blast," Sitton said after Sunday night's game. "Getting to play with the guys that are the best in the league is always an honor. But the best part is just hanging out getting to know everybody and getting to know everybody's families. You really can't beat it."