Many fans and folks around the league questioned Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher’s insistence that he’d be ready to take the field in Week 1, roughly four weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. If a report from NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport is to be believed, the Bears’ front office share those doubts as well.From Ian Rapoport, via NFL.com:
I’m told that the Bears are pessimistic that Urlacher will be ready on opening day.
It’s possible, but a lot of things are possible. Urlacher wants to be out there, but players aren’t often the best gauge for their own health. This is the same guy who has been clear he’d basically do whatever to be on the field. Urlacher wants to play in Week 1, and the team has done nothing to dissuade him. They are allowing him to plan as if he’ll be ready.
But internally, they are preparing as if he won’t. If he does have to miss Week 1, he won’t be needed against the Indianapolis Colts. How he plays in pass defense could go a long way in determining whether they’ll beat the Green Bay Packers in Week 2.
Urlacher has famously stated that he’d lie to sideline medical evaluators about concussion symptoms in order to remain on the field, so attacking his willingness to sacrifice himself for the team is out of the question, no matter how dangerous it could potentially be for him. The fact of the matter is that a Week 1 return was a very lofty goal to begin with. Rushing back to the field so soon would have immediately jeopardized Urlacher’s availability for a Week 2 Thursday Night Football contest in Green Bay. His knee has been extremely slow to heal thus far, so it would be prudent of both Urlacher and the team to exercise extra caution with this matter.