LAKE FOREST – All they have is the future right now. Three wins will do that to a football team and its frustrated fan base.
America’s professional football journalists gave those rooters of the team a reason to feel a bit better about what’s ahead.
Today three members of the Bears’ rookie class of 2016 were named to the Pro Football Writers Association of America’s All-Rookie Team.
The headliner was running back Jordan Howard, who finished second in rushing in the NFL with 1,313 yards. Only the incredible rookie year by Cowboys’ running back Ezekiel Elliott likely kept him from winning the offensive rookie of the year given by the organization.
Center Cody Whitehair was also named to the team along with outside linebacker Leonard Floyd.
Howard finished the season as the Bears All-Time rookie rushing leader, besting Matt Forte’s 1,238 yards from his first year in 2008. Emerging as the top running back in February after starting the season third on the depth chart, Howard also had six rushing touchdowns along with 29 catches.
Whitehair, a second round pick in the 2016 draft, was moved to center before the start of the season after starter Hroniss Grasu went on Injured Reserve. The rookie didn’t miss a start this season was lauded by coaches and teammates for his poise at the middle of the line.
Even though a variety of injuries caused him to miss four games this season, Floyd was still able to give the Bears some hope for their first round pick in the future. The outside linebacker’s play picked up midseason and he ended up finishing with seven sacks – one of which led to his first career touchdown at Green Bay on October 20th and a safety against the 49ers on December 4th.