Entering the 2012 season, the expectation for the Chicago Bears and starting middle linebacker Brian Urlacher was that the veteran linebacker may have to miss a game here and there as a result from the multiple knee procedures the linebacker had done in the off-season. After traveling to Germany for an experimental procedure that proved successful for athletes such as Alex Rodriguez and Kobe Bryant, Urlacher suggested that his knee was feeling great. Shortly after training camp started for the Bears, the linebacker found himself on the sidelines because of his ailing knee. Urlacher essentially was sidelined for the entirety of training camp and the pre-season, but the future hall of fame linebacker has yet to miss a game this season for the Bears.
Unfortunately for the Bears and Urlacher, that streak will come to an end on Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Urlacher injured his hamstring during the final seconds of last Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. After the game, Urlacher refrained from suggesting that he was injured, only to say that his hamstring was sore. It turns out that Urlacher’s hamstring is indeed injured, and to the extent that will likely cause the linebacker to miss the remainder of the regular season. Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune reports that Urlacher has suffered a grade 2 right hamstring strain, an injury that will force Urlacher to miss at least the next three games. Though, to expect Urlacher back for the Bear’s final regular season game that is against the Detroit Lions may be misguided. At least one orthopedic surgeon told McClure that a grade 2 hamstring strain takes 4 to 6 weeks to recover from.
“Grade 2 means it’s not a complete rupture, but it’s a partial rupture,” Gialamas said. “It takes a while — maybe a week to 10 days — for the inflammation to stop. That muscle then has to heal, and then you have a lot ofphysical therapy for strengthening and stretching. The goal is to avoid as much scar tissue in the hamstring as possible.
“I’m thinking he would be lucky to come back in four weeks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was longer than that. It’s just a tough injury.” Chicago Tribune
The Bears’ defense begun to show clinks in their preventive armor this past Sunday against the Seahawks, and that display may continue with Urlacher being sidelined for a significant amount of time. The Bears will do their best and hype Nick Roach as a respectable replacement to Urlacher and promise us that this time around for Roach will not be similar to 2009. But, the fact remains that Urlacher is irreplaceable on the Bears’ defense. Urlacher has drawn criticisms while he has been on the field for the Bears, and unfortunately, those critics will be proved wrong when they observe a Bears’ defense without the veteran linebacker for at least the next three games.