Robert Quinn’s renaissance took another step Monday night when the Bears outside linebacker was named to the Pro Bowl. Punt returner and wide receiver Jakeem Grant made it as well, earning his first career selection.
Despite playing in only 12 games entering Monday night’s contest, Quinn ranked fourth in the NFL with 14 sacks. He’s dominated opponents — it’s already the second-highest sack total of his career — despite spending more than half the season without running mate Khalil Mack, who was put on injured reserve with a foot problem.
The Bears signed Quinn to a five-year, $70 million contract in March 2020, only to watch him post the worst season of his career. Quinn had only two sacks in 15 games.
“From last year, just trying to redeem myself, personally,” he said earlier this month. “That was a disappointing season. And this year, I just try to not to let the unnecessary weight or negativity weigh me down — or keep it off my plate. So this year, I’m just able to have fun, been able to bond with the guys more, so it turned into a brotherhood. So I think just that alone allows you to play more comfortable and fast and make plays.”
Before this season, Quinn had reached two Pro Bowls — in 2013 and 2014 with the Rams. Quinn’s career-best season — he had 19 sacks in 2013 — is actually within reach.
“There are only a few guys who have had as much success as he’s had in this league and then continue to work like they’re a rookie still,” said Bears outside linebacker Bruce Irvin, another respected veteran. “Him and K-Mack, that’s another one, they’re just different types of guys. It’s just impressive playing with them.”
The Pro Bowl will be held Feb. 6 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.