Sick bay: Urlacher on track for Detroit?
December 19, 2012, 4:33 pm
It won’t be this weekend in Arizona, but the specter of Brian Urlacher returning for the game in Detroit against the Lions is seeming more and more possible, with coach Lovie Smith speaking in terms of getting the veteran middle linebacker back.
The key may be whether the Bears can dispatch the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday, a game for which they hope to have NFL interception leader Tim Jennings and possibly defensive tackle Henry Melton, third among defensive tackles with six sacks despite missing the last game and a half.
The defense has performed well with reserves Geno Hayes against Minnesota and Blake Costanzo vs. Green Bay. But even a diminished Urlacher is viewed as the second-best linebacker in the corps.
But “you know with hamstrings is just hard to say when you will get back,” coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday. “I just know he's here, and some of the things he's doing is better than what it was before. But it's pretty hard to come back from a hamstring injury in a week or so.
“That's why we just have to keep -- well, no, not ‘keep,’ we have to ‘play’ good football, this week against Arizona, and just bide time for him to get back.”
A less obvious but significant concern, however, is the hamstring strain suffered by right tackle Jonathan Scott in the Green Bay loss. The Bears went through a reduced practice on Wednesday and Scott joined Urlacher as the only two players not to practice at least on a limited basis.
That includes No. 3 receiver Earl Bennett, coming back from a concussion, and pass rusher Shea McClellin (knee) as well as Hayes.
The Cardinals were without wide receiver Early Doucet (concussion) and safeties Rashad Johnson (hamstring) and James Sanders (foot). None of the three are starters, however.
Among those limited for the Cardinals were defensive end Calais Campbell (calf) and nose tackle Dan Williams (hamstring), two-thirds of the starting front in Arizona’s 3-4 base. Also limited was starting linebacker Quentin Groves (foot). Williams was inactive/injured for the Cardinals’ win last weekend over the Detroit Lions.
Tags: Arizona Cardinals
, Chicago Bears
, Earl Bennett
, Brian Urlacher
, Detroit Lions
, Tim Jennings
, Henry Melton