Brian Urlacher’s knee holds up in limited action
By MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org September 9, 2012 9:36PM
Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher could miss the rest of the regular season with a hamstring strain. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: October 11, 2012 6:20AM
Brian Urlacher said his knee is fine. But his ego might have taken a bit of a hit.
After missing most of the offseason program, training camp and preseason because of knee injuries, Urlacher started as he promised in the Bears’ 42-21 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday at Soldier Field.
‘‘I felt good,’’ Urlacher said in a brief interview. ‘‘I had no issues moving around. No pain. That stupid brace was there, but that was about it. It was fun to be out there.’’
What was missing was impact. Urlacher was credited with two tackles and one pass defended and sat out most of the second half under orders from coach Lovie Smith. Urlacher, who missed 14 plays last season, missed the final 36 against the Colts.
It’s rare when the Bears have so many impact plays on defense — three sacks, four takeaways and four tackles for loss — and Urlacher isn’t in on any of them. When Colts quarterback Andrew Luck lauded the defense after the game, Urlacher got fourth billing — behind Lance Briggs, Julius Peppers and Henry Melton.
‘‘I wanted to get back out there the whole time,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘I was excited. We made a lot of plays on defense. I would rather be in there. But it was fun to watch our defense play like that.’’
Though his stats were modest, Urlacher still makes an impact just by being on the field.
‘‘He’s the leader of our defense,’’ end Israel Idonije said. ‘‘Just hearing his voice out there, resetting the defense, calling the checks — it lets everyone get in that comfort zone and ... you play better.’’
Urlacher was pulled against his will after the Bears scored 10 point in the first four minutes of the third quarter to take a 34-14 lead. But he made it clear it was as a precaution and not because of injury.
‘‘That was a changeup,’’ Urlacher said. ‘‘I don’t like coming out of the game. But he’s the head coach. So I do what he says.’’