The Chicago Bears defense has been one of the best in the NFL this season, but they’ll likely be without their captain for the remainder of the season. Linebacker Brian Urlacher is expected to miss the next three games with a hamstring injury that could end up sidelining him for the rest of the season.
An MRI on Tuesday revealed that Urlacher has a Grade 2 hamstring strain, and the Chicago Tribune is reporting that Urlacher heard a “pop” during last Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. The injury came on a play where Urlacher was chasing Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson to the sideline, but Urlacher never made contact with Wilson before hearing the “pop”.
Historically, non-contact injuries have been far more serious than teams initially let one. However, Urlacher’s injury in his his hamstring, and non-contact knee injuries are what concern people the most.
If the Bears are forced to go without Urlacher for an extended period of time, Nick Roach will step in to fill the massive shoes left by the future Hall of Famer. Roach has filled in for Urlacher in the preseason as he was the Bears contingency plan should Urlacher go down with an injury. The Bears record without Urlacher since they drafted him in 2000 is less than spectacular, but for the first time in quite a while the co-stars on the unit might be able to make do without him.
This could also be an issue that pops up in the offseason, as Urlacher is a free agent after the season. The Bears have indicated they have no intention of bringing him back at his current price, and some including kicker Robbie Gould, believe this is Urlacher’s final year with the Bears.
Resting him the rest of the season would mean the possibility of a fresher Urlacher in the playoffs, and if Chicago is going to give him one more shot at a Super Bowl, then Urlacher should take all the time he needs.