Brian Urlacher has been on my mind A LOT recently. It obviously started with him not reporting to preseason workouts/training camp (for personal reasons, supposedly), or dressing for the first preseason game. Then he showed up to training camp on Sunday, but did not participate, although he did reassure us that his knee feels better. (Then he was in my dream last night, and we were work-out buddies/BFFs, which was awesome.) But now, as the days go by, I’m contemplating the reality of his injury versus what we are being told.
Obviously, there is no major rush to getting Urlacher back on the field during the preseason games. It would be unnecessary strain on a knee that is not completely healed yet (which in turn, is the problem). And although Urlacher continues to claim he feels great, you can’t help but wonder if the soreness and swelling that has occured recently is something that will impact his availability and performance this season.
I don’t know much about physical therapy or athletic injuries; but my main concern/question is that if this injury occurred in January, and if after all this time just practicing makes it sore, than doesn’t it sound like a bigger issue than what they are telling us? And IF it is a bigger issue, than wouldn’t an actual game impact it a lot more than a little practice? Which may, or may not, lead to something worse? Maybe not. Maybe they are playing their cards right and just letting him rest until the time to play comes. And if that is the case, fine. Perfect. But if, God forbid, that is not the case, than our defense is going to have a huge slot to fill, regardless of what some people are saying.
Urlacher may be an older Bear, but he continues to be an explosive play maker that impacts the overall game and a leader on our team (Side note: I thought he had an amazing season last year). And with our much improved offense, it is vital that Urlacher is on the field with our defense, but he needs to do so at 100%. I do not doubt his athletic ability or desire to play, and in no way do I think this is related to his contract being up at the end of this year (which I have heard many speculate and think is completely ridiculous to claim.)
But regardless of what is really going on, the most important thing right now is to keep an eye on this in the next few weeks. He will eventually need to practice if he wants to play Week 1 vs. the Colts, and when that happens we will be able to tell how bad, or how much we have all overreacted, regarding this injury. Until then…