Mack leads group of Bears selected for the Pro Bowl

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GREEN BAY, WI – SEPTEMBER 09: Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears warms up before a game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on September 9, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Five Chicago Bears have been voted to the 2019 Pro Bowl the most for the franchise since 2014.

Those Bears are linebacker Khalil Mack, defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, defensive backs Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson and return specialist Tarik Cohen.

Mack is headed to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl after being selected three times as a member of the Oakland Raiders from 2015-17. The 2016 NFL Defensive Player of the Year leads the Bears and is tied for sixth in the NFL with 12.5 sacks in 12 games this season. Mack is tied for first in the NFL with six forced fumbles and has three multi-sack performances on the year.

“God is good,” Mack said. “Thank you to the Bears fans for giving me the opportunity to represent Chicago in the Pro Bowl. We also have a few of my guys with me! Congratulations to Kyle, Akiem, Eddie and Tarik! Bear Down!”

Hicks is receiving his first Pro Bowl nod after leading the Bears with 11 tackles-for-loss and ranking second on the team with 6.0 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.

“Being selected to the Pro Bowl is an honor,” Hicks said. “I have played the game of football my entire life and this is the greatest accolade I’ve ever achieved. To be respected by my peers and the greatest fans in professional sports is an honor. I’m extremely proud to represent the Bears organization along with the City of Chicago!”

Jackson will appear on the NFC Pro Bowl roster for the first time in his career. Starting all 14 games at safety for the Bears this season, Jackson has accumulated 51 total tackles, 15 passes defensed, six interceptions, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and a sack.

“First of all, I would like to thank God, the City of Chicago and the Bears organization for the opportunity,” Jackson said. “I’d also like to thank my teammates and coaches for always helping me get better on and off the field and stepping up to challenges every week. And finally, the greatest fans in the world! Without you none of this would be possible. So thank you, god bless and Bear Down! We still have unfinished business!”

Fuller also is receiving his first Pro Bowl honor after leading the NFC and tying for first in the NFL with seven interceptions on the season. Fuller’s seven interceptions are the most by a Bear since Tim Jennings had nine in 2012.

“Thank you to the fans and everyone around the NFL for voting me to the Pro Bowl,” Fuller said. “It feels good to see what I’ve been working on since I was a kid paying off and getting respect around this competitive league as I continue to get better.”

Mack, Hicks, Fuller and Jackson have helped anchor a dominating defensive unit that leads the NFL in takeaways (35), turnover margin (+13), interceptions (26), interceptions for touchdowns (5), points off takeaways (107) and lowest passer rating (73.0), to name a few.

Cohen also earned his first Pro Bowl invitation after being named a second-team alternate last season. The second-year return man currently leads the NFL with 413 punt return yards on 31 attempts, both of which lead the NFL, while his 13.3-yard return average leads the NFC and is fourth among all NFL returners.

“I’m tremendously honored,” Cohen said. “I’d like to share this achievement with everyone on my punt return group and also my special teams coaches.”

The Bears also had seven players voted as Pro Bowl alternates: QB Mitchell Trubisky, C Cody Whitehair, OL Charles Leno Jr., and LBs Roquan Smith, Danny Trevathan and Leonard Floyd.

The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 27, 2019 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

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