Alshon Jeffery heading to the Pro Bowl

Chicago's Alshon Jeffery snags a Jay Cutler pass for a touchdown in the first half against New Orleans in an NFL game Sunday, October 6, 2013 at Soldier Field in Chicago. (H. Rick Bamman -

It came two weeks later, but Alshon Jeffery got a well-deserved invitation to Hawaii.

Jeffery will replace Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson in the Pro Bowl, joining Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte, the Bears announced Thursday. Johnson is having offseason knee surgery.

“I’m extremely blessed and thankful for the opportunity to play in the Pro Bowl. I want to thank (wide receivers) coach (Mike) Groh, (head) coach (Marc) Trestman and the rest of my teammates for putting me in a position to succeed this season,” Jeffery said. “Thanks to all the fans for all of the support this season and I’m looking forward to playing with Brandon and Matt in Hawaii.”

Jeffery had a breakout second season, catching 89 passes for 1,421 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had 16 carries for 105 yards.

He was fourth in the NFC in receptions and second in receiving yards. Jeffery’s seven catches of 40 yards or more were second-most in the NFC.

In December, Marshall made his pitch to get Jeffery a Pro Bowl nod.

“Everybody out there, you need to go vote for Alshon Jeffery, Pro Bowl,” he said. “It’d be a shame if he was not in the Pro Bowl.”

Jeffery is ranked second in Bears franchise history for most receiving yards in a single season.

“Just being from where I came from to where I am now, what I’m doing…it’s just special to be part of the success we’re having as a team,” Jeffery said. “I want to thank my Mama and my family. I’m going to continue to make you all proud.”

-Kevin Fishbain

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