All’s quiet on Bears injury front
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org September 5, 2012 8:00PM
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: of the Chicago Bears of the Cleveland Browns during a preseason game at Soldier Field on September 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Browns 24-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Updated: October 7, 2012 8:07AM
In the first official injury report of the 2012 season, the Bears didn’t have much information to share.
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher fully participated and defensive tackle Stephen Paea wasn’t even listed on the report. Meanwhile, punter Adam Podlesh and safety Chris Conte were limited, casting hope that they could play Sunday in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
The only player who didn’t practice was third-string running back Lorenzo Booker, who was out with a head injury.
“We have a couple guys listed as limited, but they were able to do quite a bit,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We’ve been waiting to get to Wednesday. I know we practiced Monday, but now we’re into our true game week routine.
“That first game, you just can’t wait to get to it.”
On Monday, Urlacher practiced for the first time since July 31. Asked if he could envision a scenario in which Smith decided not to play the linebacker, Smith said, “Oh, sure. Guys, of course, are always going to say that they’re ready to go, but we’ll always watch them and make that final decision.
“You want a player to always want to go, but we’ll help him out if it comes to that. But I don’t think it will.”
Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck, the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, certainly will be mindful of where Urlacher is, if he plays.
“That’s one of the best ever, if not the best middle linebacker,” Luck said. “We’ll definitely know, definitely be aware of him. If he doesn’t play, I’m sure their defense will be fine, they’ll be good as always.
“Someone will step up. If he does play then it’s another challenge for us.”
The Bears are carrying two punters in case Podlesh can’t go. Rookie Ryan Quigley did a solid job filling in for the veteran in the final two preseason games.
“We haven’t ruled that out yet,” Podlesh said when asked if he could play against the Colts. “That is still on the table.”
Podlesh said the training staff has him on a progression now.
“I felt good. Being limited today, that’s basically what they wanted me to be at,” he said. “We’ll progress from there, but things, like I said, are going well.”
Smith said that when a player practices Wednesday “there’s a chance that you can go.”