Brian Urlacher has been the heart and soul of the Chicago Bears for a long time and 2012 looked to be no different than years past. However, he has been bothered by a knee injury that has required some recent surgery. Unfortunately, that might not have been the only surgery the future Hall of Famer has had this year.
The linebacker was originally thought to have used rest and rehab in order to recover from his knee issues, but he might have had up to three surgeries on his knee in 2012 alone. That is not a good sign for the Bears, who depend on his ferocious play to dominate the middle of the field.
The years that the Bears have missed Urlacher have shown that he is key to the defense. They have other good players on that side of the ball, but Urlacher makes it all mix together. Without him, it has good individual pieces, yet no cohesion.
The Bears are a sleeper team to advance out of the NFC this year but they need a healthy Brian Urlacher to do that. He may be slowing down a bit but he is still one of the best middle backers in the game. He completely changes a game with his presence on the field. Without him, the Bears defense will struggle to perform up their expectations. Urlacher simply makes them that much better.
The health of Brian Urlacher will probably be the big story to follow in Chicago the rest of the season. If he is unable to go, the Bears could be in trouble. They need a good defense to counteract the awesome offenses the rest of the contenders for the Super Bowl boast. All of those teams can score, but not a lot of them can play great defense. Urlacher and the Bears defense would be a X-factor.