CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Bears now have eight players on the NFC roster for the Pro Bowl, after left tackle Charles Leno Jr. and center Cody Whitehair were added to the team on Tuesday.
Whitehair and Leno will replace Saints teammates Max Unger and Terron Armstead, respectively, who will be skipping the game. It’s common for players from teams that lose the conference championship games to sit out the Pro Bowl.
Leno and Whitehair were added to the Pro Bowl roster a day after quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was selected to replace Rams quarterback Jared Goff, who is sitting out the Pro Bowl to prepare for the Super Bowl.
The Bears now have eight players who have been named to the Pro Bowl, their most since eight Bears went to the Pro Bowl in 2007, the year the Bears played in Super Bowl XLI against the Indianapolis Colts. Joining Leno, Whitehair, and Trubisky are defensive tackle Akiem Hicks, safety Eddie Jackson, cornerback Kyle Fuller, and return specialist Tarik Cohen. Linebacker Khalil Mack also was named to the Pro Bowl, but will sit out with a minor knee injury.
Whitehair has started all 48 games at center in his three seasons since the Bears drafted him in the second round out of Kansas State in 2016. He was the only Bears player to play every snap on offense or defense in 2018. He’s the first Bears center named to the Pro Bowl since Olin Kreutz went to six straight from 2001-2006.
Leno has made 62 tarts in 70 games with the Bears since he was drafted in the seventh round out of Boise State in 2014. He hasn’t missed a game since joining the starting lineup in Week 4 of 2015.