Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher missed his fifth straight practice on Monday as he attempts to fully recover from the sprained MCL and PCL he suffered in the 2011 regular season. Despite the fact that Urlacher has claimed time and time again that he will be ready for the season opener against the Colts one must worry that perhaps Urlacher isn’t quite as ready to go as he says he is.
Head coach Lovie Smith told the media on Monday that Urlacher missed Monday’s practice for “personal reasons”. I might have to go ahead and call BS on that one. Even the most casual fan knows head coaches keep injuries on the DL so there may be more to this than Lovie is leading on. My biggest fear is that Urlacher may have to have his knee scoped which would set him back a good 6-8 weeks. Of course, that is worst-case scenario.
I don’t expect to see Urlacher out there on Thursday night against the Broncos. The staff will give him a run around prior to kickoff and determine he just isn’t 100% and scratch him from the lineup. This is the best thing the coaches could do for him. The short of it is that Urlacher is a 34 year old, 13 year NFL veteran. He does not need to be out there in pre-season match ups to gain a better understanding of the defensive system. All the coaching staff needs to do is make sure his fitness is good to go and Brian will do the rest (read: destroy people).