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Three Bears earn All-Rookie honors

Bears running back Jordan Howard, center Cody Whitehair and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd have all been selected to the Professional Football Writers of America NFL All-Rookie Team.

Howard was voted to the Pro Bowl after setting two Bears rookie rushing records with 1,313 yards (on 252 carries) and seven 100-yard games. The fifth-round draft pick finished second in the NFL in rushing behind Cowboys rookie Ezekiel Elliott, who ran for 1,631 yards on 322 attempts.

Elliott was chosen the PFWA's Rookie of the Year and Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Howard opened the season third on the Bears depth chart and didn't make his first start until Week 4 when both Jeremy Langford and Ka'Deem Carey were injured.


Jordan Howard is the fourth Bears player to rush for at least 1,300 yards in a season.

Howard is the fourth player in Bears history to rush for at least 1,300 yards in a season. Hall of Famer Walter Payton achieved the feat nine times during his illustrious career from 1975-87, while Thomas Jones (1,335 in 2005) and Matt Forte (1,339 in 2013) each did it once.

Howard and Payton are the only Bears to rush for more than 1,300 yards while averaging at least five yards per carry, something Payton did just once.

Howard closed the season with a flourish, earning NFL offensive rookie of the month honors for December/January after rushing for 547 yards and four touchdowns in five games. During that span, he averaged 5.3 yards per attempt and had three 100-yard games.

Howard is the first Bears rookie to be selected to the Pro Bowl since guard Kyle Long in 2013 and the team's first rookie running back since Hall of Famer Gale Sayers in 1965.

Whitehair anchored the Bears offensive line, starting all 16 games at center, a position he never played at Kansas State. The second-round pick was moved to center about a week before the regular season after the Bears lost center Hroniss Grasu to a season-ending knee injury and signed three-time Pro Bowl left guard Josh Sitton one day after he was released by the Packers.

Floyd excelled on defense, registering 33 tackles and seven sacks in 12 games.

The Bears traded up two spots to select Floyd with the ninth pick in the draft out of Georgia. He missed two games in October with a calf injury and then returned with a vengeance, recording 16 tackles, 6.5 sacks and five tackles-for-loss in his next five contests.

In a Week 7 loss to the Packers, Floyd sacked Aaron Rodgers, forcing and recovering a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown. Later in the season the rookie generated two more points when he sacked 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert in the end zone for a safety.

The Bears tied the Chargers for the most players selected to the All-Rookie Team with three.

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