The Bears' playoff hopes dimmed over the weekend but they could still be represented in the postseason at the Pro Bowl.
The league will announce the teams later today and weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs figures to be a good bet to be named to his fourth consecutive all-star game.
After Briggs, nothing is certain. Return man Devin Hester led the fan balloting and could get the nod on reputation but his statistics are not worthy. Punter Brad Maynard has enjoyed the best of his eight seasons with the Bears. Kicker Robbie Gould has also had a fine year as have a handful of kickers in the NFC.
Then there is the case of middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and center Olin Kreutz, both six-time selections. Urlacher led the fane vote at inside linebacker but he did that last year when he was shunned for the first time in a season when he finished the year on the field. Kreutz also missed the Pro Bowl last season.
When it comes to rookie running back Matt Forte, he will be interesting to keep an eye on. The position is loaded in the NFC with Adrian Peterson and Michael Turner just about locks for the conference. DeAngelo Williams, Brandon Jacobs and Brian Westbrook could also get strong consideration, as should Forte. But given the number of players who back out of the game, it seems to rise every year, if Forte gets a spot as an alternate, he just might wind up making it.
Stay tuned for the results later. The Bears will practice at Halas Hall at 11 a.m.