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Mack, Jackson, Patterson headed to Pro Bowl


Three Bears players have been selected to participate on the NFC team in this season's Pro Bowl: Outside linebacker Khalil Mack, safety Eddie Jackson and special-teams standout Cordarrelle Patterson.

The Bears also had three alternates chosen in nose tackle Eddie Goldman, cornerback Kyle Fuller and punt-returner Tarik Cohen.

Mack has now been voted to five straight Pro Bowls, the last two with the Bears after three in a row with the Raiders. This season he leads the Bears with 7.5 sacks, seven tackles-for-loss, 13 quarterback hits and five forced fumbles while also recording four pass breakups and one fumble recovery. Mack will start on the NFC team.

Jackson has earned his second straight trip to the Pro Bowl. This season the 2017 fourth-round pick from Alabama has registered 57 tackles, one interception, five tackles-for-loss, one sack, four pass breakups, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Jackson was chosen as a reserve on the NFC squad.

Selected as a special-teams representative, Patterson has been voted to his third Pro Bowl in seven NFL seasons. He also made trips in 2013 and 2016 as a member of the Vikings. In his first year with the Bears, he has excelled as a kick returner and gunner on the punt-coverage team.

Patterson ranks second in the league with a 29.6-yard average on 27 kickoff returns, including a 102-yard touchdown against the Saints. He also is second in NFL history with a 29.9-yard average, trailing only Bears Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (30.6).

Patterson was named the NFC special teams player of the month for November. In five games, he averaged 29.4 yards on 10 kickoff returns, highlighted by a 57-yarder on the opening kickoff in a 24-20 win over the Lions on Thanksgiving in Detroit.

Patterson also excelled as a gunner in November, recording four tackles. In a 19-14 win over the Giants Nov. 24 at Soldier Field, he produced three excellent plays.

In the second quarter, Patterson made a touchdown-saving tackle on Jabrill Peppers' 40-yard punt return at the Bears' 29. Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas eventually missed a 42-yard field goal on the drive. In the fourth period, Patterson caught Pat O'Donnell's 34-yard punt at the Giants' 3 and later dove to keep O'Donnell's 61-yard punt from rolling into the end zone, swatting the ball back while prone to the ground.

Pro Bowl players are selected by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches, with each group accounting for one-third of the vote. The Pro Bowl will kick off at 2 p.m. (CT) Sunday, Jan. 26 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, one week before the Super Bowl is played in Miami.

Last season the Bears initially had five players voted to the Pro Bowl: Mack, Jackson, Fuller, Cohen and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks. Three alternates were later added to the NFC roster: Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and center Cody Whitehair.