CANTON, Ohio — One of the most popular and charismatic players in the history of the Chicago Bears is another step closer to Canton.

On Thursday afternoon, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced that Steve McMichael is one of 12 players in the Seniors category that have moved on to the next round of voting for the Class of 2024.

Players in this category must have played their last game no later than the 1998 season.

The former defensive tackle had been one of 31 semifinalists for that honor in a vote by the Seniors Committee on July 12. Now that same group will meet on August 22 to choose up to three players that will be in final consideration for the Class of 2024.

McMichael is making his push for the Hall of Fame as he continues his battle with ALS, which he was diagnosed with in January 2021. WGN News Now featured how he’s dealing with his daily battle against the disease in July and the push by his wife, Misty, former teammates, and professional wrestlers who are drumming up support for his induction.

Chicago is home to McMichael, who great up in Texas and played his college football at the University of Texas before being drafted by the Patriots in the third round of the 1980 NFL Draft. Joining the Bears in 1981, he would play the next 13 seasons and was a key part of one of the best defenses in the history of the franchise.

The two-time first team NFL All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowl selection finished with 92.5 sacks and 12 forced fumbles in 191 games for the Bears. He helped the team to seven playoff appearances and the Super Bowl XX championship in the 1984 season.

Virginia McCaskey, who was a semifinalist in the Coach/Contributor category, was not among the 12 selected to move on to the next round.

Clark Shaughnessy, who was a defensive coordinator for the Bears from 1951-1962, is one of the 12 still up for election in the Class of 2024 in the Coach/Contributor category. He’s mostly remembered for his time as a consultant for the Bears in the 1930s while the head coach at the University of Chicago, where he helped refine the team’s famed “T-Formation” with George Halas.