Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is back on the practice field up at Hallas Hall and continues to be adamant about playing this Sunday in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts. Urlacher has been busy nursing a sore knee which was hurt during the 2012 season finale and was most recently scoped to clear up some scar tissue. Urlacher also spent some time overseas to get stem cell treatments on the knee.
Now I am all for Urlacher being back on the field as the Tampa-2 will struggle to be effective with Nick Roach managing the game at middle linebacker. While Roach is a solid player, he just doesn’t possess the speed or intangibles that Urlacher brings to the Bears defense. Urlacher is the defense’s leader and brings the attitude that the defense seemed to lack during the preseason.
However, it is likely in the Bears’ and Urlacher’s best interest to keep that knee on the sidelines for a little bit longer. I know Urlacher is a huge bad-ass and will stop at nothing to play this Sunday, but the Bears team management needs to be smart about this one. Would the team really be better off having Urlacher playing at 75% while he hobbles around the field getting beat like a red-headed step child? Urlacher not being able to play at full game speed is not only going to hurt the defense but might also hurt Urlacher even further.
You couple the hurt knee with the short turnaround time the team has to play the Green Bay Packers and I foresee even bigger problems for Urlacher. No offense to the Colts, but I just don’t see them topping the Bears with or without Urlacher. It is in the team’s best interest to sit Brian a few extra days and get him out on the field when they take on the Packers.
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