Rookie Kyle Long earns Pro Bowl nod

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears 2013 first-round pick right guard Kyle Long has been added to the 2014 NFC Pro Bowl roster after San Francisco 49ers left guard Mike Iupati fractured his left fibula during the NFC Championship Game.

Long is the Bears’ first Pro Bowl offensive lineman since center Olin Kreutz and guard Ruben Brown were awarded the honor in the 2006 regular season.

Selected with the No. 20 overall pick out of Oregon, Long started all 16 games at right guard for the Bears despite playing just one year of Division I college football for the Ducks. Long began his collegiate career at Florida State playing baseball before eventually switching to football and enrolling at Saddleback Community College for two years. In his lone season at Oregon, Long played in 11 games and started the final five at left guard.

The son of Hall of Famer Howie Long and brother of St. Louis Rams defensive end Chris Long, the 6-foot-6, 313 pound rookie was a fixture on a rebuilt Bears’ offensive line that surrendered only 30 sacks in 579 passing attempts and helped pave the way for tailback Matt Forte to rush for 1,339 yards.

Long is now the fifth Bears player to be named to the 2014 Pro Bowl joining wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, running back Matt Forte and cornerback Tim Jennings, who replaced Seattle’s Richard Sherman on Monday.