Brian Urlacher sat out his third straight practice on Wednesday and his status for Saturday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals is in doubt. In my mind, there should be no doubt – SHUT HIM DOWN.
Over the last weeks and months, all we’ve heard about the Bears defense is that adding Julius Peppers and the return of Brian Urlacher after missing 15-1/2 games last season was like adding two Pro Bowl caliber players and that would resurrect Lovie Smith’s defense.
On Saturday against the Raiders, Urlacher suffered a mild calf strain in the first series of the game. Not surprisingly, he sat the rest of the meaningless preseason game and the Raiders starters carved the defense up, especially over the deep middle where Urlacher roams in Lovie’s Cover-Who defense. My concern is that heading into the all-important third preseason game, where starters play into the third quarter, that Bears coaches will be tempted to bring him back.
Urlacher knows the defense better than anyone, so he doesn’t need the practice. The Bears linebacking corp is starting to look a little thinner than it once was. First they traded Jamar Williams to the Carolina Panthers to bring Chris Harris back. Then Nick Roach had to undergo a minor procedure to get his knee scoped, so he’s ouit. Hunter Hillenmeyer missed some time with a ding during the first preseason game and Pisa Tinoisamoa isn’t the most durable player either. So come to think of it, the Bears should sit Lance Briggs too; he’s about all they’ve got left.