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Briggs passes on Pro Bowl

It could very well be Lance Briggs wore a Bears helmet for the final time on Dec. 30 against the New Orleans Saints.

The linebacker backed out of the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. He had an ailing groin muscle at the end of the regular season, although it was not believed to be serious and he played down the stretch. The league didnt specify a reason for the decision, which led to Greg Ellis being named as the 13th Dallas Cowboy to the NFC roster. That is an NFL record.

Briggs, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, also backed out of the all-star game last February. The Bears will now be represented by two playersreturner Devin Hester and special teamer Brendon Ayanbadejo.

Briggs will be an unrestricted free agent beginning Feb. 29.