The Chicago Bears are preparing to finish out the 2012 regular season without injured middle linebacker Brian Urlacher.
Following Urlacher’s season-ending right hamstring pull this past Sunday, the Bears have re-signed linebacker Dom DeCicco to the active roster in hopes of bolstering depth at the position. DeCicco was released by the Bears with an injury settlement earlier in the season after undergoing groin surgery.
DeCicco signed with the Bears as an undrafted rookie out of Pittsburgh in 2011 and spent the entire regular season on the Chicago active roster. Through his 16 appearances, DeCicco managed 12 total tackles while serving as a special teams player and backup linebacker. Although health issues forced the Bears to move on without him earlier this season, the injury to Urlacher forced them to reevaluate his value to the franchise.
Even with Urlacher out for the remainder of the 2012 campaign, don’t expect to see DeCicco suddenly thrust into the lineup. The Bears will likely shift Nick Roach over to middle linebacker while Geno Hayes fills in at the strongside linebacker spot like they did when Urlacher went down.
During training camp, DeCicco filled in for Urlacher at middle linebacker, so there’s no doubt that he could man the position if need be. Still, it’s unlikely that he’ll be used as anything more than a special teamer at this point in the season.
It’s going to be tough sledding for the Bears as they head down the home stretch with the NFC North crown still within reach. An Urlacher-less defense isn’t going to help the cause either.