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Brian Urlacher back at practice, still not participating

Chicago Bears Practice Olivet Nazarene University. Chicago Bears No.54 Brian Urlacher.  August  2 2012. I  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Chicago Bears Practice at Olivet Nazarene University. Chicago Bears No.54 Brian Urlacher. August 2, 2012. I Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: September 13, 2012 6:27AM



BOURBONNAIS — Brian Urlacher returned to Bears training camp. But instead of a helmet, he donned a floppy khaki hat during practice Saturday.

Urlacher was excused for personal reasons for a week, including Thursday night’s preseason opener against the Denver Broncos, and he hasn’t practiced since July 31. But teammates welcomed him back, with several making a point to hang out with him during downtime at practice.

“It’s great to see him,” linebacker Nick Roach said. “We miss that guy.”

The Bears next preseason game is Saturday at Soldier Field against the Washington Redskins, and Urlacher would likely need to practice at least a couple of times in the coming days to play.

But Bears coach Lovie Smith did not provide a timetable for his return after practice Saturday.

“Brian Urlacher is back, after he’s taken care of some business,” Smith said. “It’s good to get him back on the practice field, even though he isn’t practicing yet. He still has some soreness with the knee. We’ll continue to monitor it.

“Exactly when he’ll be back, I can’t tell you that.”

The Bears, though, are thin at the position.

Roach is currently filling in for Urlacher but backup Dom DeCicco pulled his groin muscle and will be on the “shelf for a while,” Smith said.

The Bears signed linebackers Xavier Adibi and K.C. Asiodu on Saturday, as well as defensive end Aston Whiteside. To make room for those players, the Bears waived defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron and cornerback Jeremy Ware and placed defensive end Alex Brown on the reserve/retired list.

Adibi can play middle linebacker, and was a fourth-round pick of the Houston Texans in 2008. He’s appeared in 38 games with eight starts. Last season, he was with the Minnesota Vikings. He has 55 career tackles, forced two fumbles and has a fumble recovery. He’s also had 13 special-teams tackles.

Asiodu has appeared in 11 games with the St. Louis Rams and New Orleans Saints, racking up nine special-teams tackles. He spent the 2011 preseason with the Green Bay Packers, but was released before the regular season started.

Whiteside, who played at Abilene Christian University, was an undrafted free agent recently released by the Dallas Cowboys.

In the meantime, Roach was pleased with his play Thursday, although the starting defense only played one series against the Broncos.

“We just got to do a better job. We could have gotten off the field. But we came away with a takeaway,” he said. “It was a short time, but I felt good. I think things went pretty clean.”



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