Brian Urlacher practices, unlikely for Sunday
However, the Chicago Bears already started the process of preparing Brian Ulracher for a wild-card playoffs game, as they would need nothing short of a miracle to start him on Sunday with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.
"I was encouraged that he was finally able to get on the practice field. It's not like we had a full-padded practice today, though,” said Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith after Friday’s practice, “but he was able to move around which we thought he would be able to do. He's making the normal progress we had hoped he would make, he has made."
The Chicago Bears (9-6) are in a must win situation against the Detroit Lions (4-11), to finally advance into the playoffs. Obviously, that will also require a Minnesota Vikings loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. While the Chicago Bears are desperate for all the help they can get, Brian Urlacher doesn’t appear physically capable for starting against one of NFL’ most unruly teams.
Usually, after a player misses so much time, NFL teams prefer to have him practice for over a week before resuming regular playing time. Brian Urlacher seemed to show signs of exhaustion as he only took but a few reps form Chicago Bears linebacker Nick Roach during Friday’s practice.
Lovie Smith added that Brian Urlacher did not practice at full speed Friday, and seemed less than optimistic about his early return after the conversation dragged on.
"I wouldn't take off too far on the Brian Urlacher talk," said Lovie Smith. "He had a limited practice, he hasn't done anything and today he was able to do a little bit. I can't give you much more than that."
However, if the Chicago Bears were to reach the playoffs, Brian Urlacher could return to his starting position with a week’s practice. But there are no guarantees here either.
There’s an existing possibility that the eight-time Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher, who has for long been the franchise face, has played his final game for the Chicago Bears after appearing in 182 games over 13 seasons. Brian Urlacher is on an expiring contact and many believe, that his tenure with the Chicago Bears will end upon Lovie Smith’s departure, who still has a year remaining on his contract.
Brian Urlacher’s recurring knee issues limited his production this season, but the still the third-leader on the Chicago Bears’ defense with 88 tackle and ranks second with seven stops for a loss this season.