With all the hype surrounding this year's Chicago Bears team, there has been little to be concerned about. That was until Brian Urlacher missed practice for the 6th consecutive day. Urlacher, according to Coach Lovie Smith, has been excused the last two days for personal reasons. Lovie has told us that there is no story and Urlacher will be there when it matters. The future Hall of Famers absence has led to much speculation.
Fans will remember that Urlacher hurt his knee in the final game of the season last year. Urlacher suffered what was reported as a MCL and PCL sprain. The sprains were not severe enough to require surgery and Brian was supposed to be good for training camp with rehab only. Brian arrived at camp and participated with a knee brace. Now things have changed. Some speculated that Urlacher may be upset with his lack of a extension offer from the front office, as he will be a free agent this off season. That is not the reason. I believe that Brian Urlacher suffered a minor setback in his knee. What may be the true story is that Brian is seeking outside medical opinions separate from the Bears training staff. I have no idea what the setback exactly is, but let's remember the accuracy of what Urlacher's injury was may not be accurate. Also, Brian is a 34 yr old linebacker. While he has not shown any indications of decline, he is hitting that age range where he needs to be careful.
With Urlacher being a free agent next season, he is not going to risk his future for meaningless practices and scrimmages. Urlacher is the definition of a professional, so he will be ready for that first game against the Colts. However, he may have some concern about what he is feeling in that knee. Teams rarely like when a player goes outside of the organization for medical advice. The coaching staff and the players have been mum on Urlacher though. No one is letting anything slip on this one. That shows the respect that he gets from teammates and coaches to keep the matter personal.
So best case scenario and worst case? Best case scenario is that this personal matter is only a minor bump in the road and Urlacher is ready to go 100% for Week 1. Worst case scenario? Urlacher has suffered a major setback and misses the early portion of the season or worse the entire season. Nick Roach or Dom DeCicco would step in to fill the middle linebacker role in Urlacher's absence. I'm going to gamble hear on Brian and say he will be your starting middle linebacker against the Colts. Lovie says there's no story here. What Lovie should realize by now in this Bear's town is that there's always a story.
Filed under: Uncategorized