Bears Shutout in Pro Bowl Selections, Kyle Fuller Disagrees with Vic Fangio’s Assessment

CHICAGO- The NFL revealed the 2016 Pro Bowl selections on Tuesday afternoon, and not a single representative was chosen from the Chicago Bears. Not surprising given their dismal season, but was Jordan Howard snubbed in the process?

The Chicago Bears have been pretty bad in 2016, and we have made no secret of the here at The Loop Sports, nor should we. So it’s doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the Bears were shutout in the NFL Pro Bowl selection process, but should they have been?

Largely overshadowed by another rookie running back in the NFL, Ezekiel Elliott, Jordan Howard has very quietly put together one of the better seasons in the league at the running back position. Howard, if you remember, was inactive in Week 1 of the NFL season and only received 12 carries in the next two games combined.

It wasn’t until Week 3 that Howard got his chance to show the Bears what he can do, and since that point he has become the third-fastest Bears rookie running back to reach the 1,000 yard mark in a season.

The three NFC running backs selected to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday were Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals, and Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons.

Elliot and Johnson both have sound resumes here in 2016, Bears fans dispute with the NFL’s selection would be with Devonta Freeman over Howard. Take a look at the lines on the two running backs 2016 production thus far.

Jordan Howard: 211 Carries / 1,059 Yards / 5.0 Yards Per Carry / 6 Rushing TD / 28 Receptions / 289 Receiving Yards / 1 Receiving TD

Devonta Freeman: 202 Carries / 930 Yards / 4.5 Yard Per Carry /  10 Rushing TD/ 41 Receptions / 346 Receiving Yards / 2 Receiving TD

Howard has 129 more yards than Freeman on just nine extra carries thus far, and is averaging a half yard more per rushing attempt, while Freeman has four more rushing touchdowns than Howard. Freeman also has 13 more receptions, 57 more receiving yards, and one more touchdown catch than Howard.

At the end of the day the two backs stack-up nearly identically to date in 2016, and personally given the lesser playing time, the lesser supporting cast, and the lesser amount of NFL experience, I would hold Howard’s performance to a higher scale than Freeman’s this season.

Ultimately, Howard could very well be the third running back in the NFC back-field, and may very well be when it’s all said and done, depending on how far the Cowboys go in the playoffs but none the less I don’t think that we can call the absence of Howard at the Pro Bowl a snub at this point.

Kyle Fuller Will Remain on IR for the Remainder of 2016, Disagrees with Fangio’s Assessment

Kyle Fuller will remain on the IR for the remainder of the 2016 season, and had some comments that sounded very familiar in the Chicago sports landscape today.

On Tuesday Bears Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio said that Fuller was “not confident of champing at the bit” to get back on the field. Fuller had this to say about Fangio’s displeasure;

“That was definitely not true,” Fuller said. “I think I’ve been communicating with the team and letting them know how much I want to be back. It really came down to not quite being ready to play. I think that’s all it was.”

“It’s disappointing because you want to be out there,” Fuller said. “I guess I’ve got to listen to my body … it tells me what I can and can’t do … and go from there. I’m not quite there yet. I still have pain in my knee. I just have to get that right and I’ll be good to go.”

Bears Head Coach John Fox added,  “I think any time a guy gets injured, it’s disappointing. It’s nobody’s fault,” Fox said. “We just evaluate what we see. I think desire for guys to be out there [is] hard to measure. Just evaluating where he is right now as compared to the players we have out there, [we] didn’t feel [activating Fuller] was the best move for us.”

Fuller, a 2014 first-round draft choice has been often injured and unproductive since his arrival in Chicago, and sounded a lot like Derrick Rose in his comments on Wednesday afternoon, which will not sit well with Chicago fans.

Ultimately, Fuller’s injury situation as well as his lack of production when active has landed Fuller in an unsure situation as far as his future in Chicago is concerned.

 

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