After the second-to-last play of the Chicago Bears’ Week 13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, linebacker Brian Urlacher left the with a right hamstring injury. An MRI taken earlier today confirmed that Urlacher suffered a Grade-2 hamstring strain, and is expected to miss the next three games, and possibly the remainder of the regular season.
As a result of Urlacher’s injury, the Bears have signed linebacker Dom DeCicco, who played on special teams all last season for Chicago and was waived by the Bears in late August.
More than likely, linebacker Nick Roach will slide over to the middle linebacker spot, while Geno Hayes will fill in for Roach at strongside linebacker.
This unfortunate situation just may make it a bit difficult for the Bears’ defense for the next two games. Chicago will have to face two division rivals in the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers in Weeks 14 and 15 respectively.
Although Urlacher hasn’t shown as much flash as he has in the past, his leadership and knowledge of the game will be greatly missed on the field. Those are two great characteristics that will be needed when facing Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Looking at the state of the Bears long term, it looks like Chicago should strongly consider planning for the future and bring in a young linebacker to eventually replace Urlacher. The 13-year veteran has made big plays this season, but the past few years seem to have taken their toll on Urlacher. He’s not as fast as he was running sideline to sideline, and has even missed some tackles that he usually would have made in his prime.
Losing three of their last four games, the Bears are now in even more of a desperate position to win. They are no longer in the lead in the NFC North, and can possibly be a loss or two away from losing their current wildcard spot. Urlacher’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time. In order for the veteran linebacker to have an impact on Chicago’s run for a championship, the Bears will have to find a way to win without the face of their franchise.
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