ESPN has reported that MLB Brian Urlacher has left the Chicago Bears to deal with a personal matter involving his mother, Lavoyda Urlacher. He is expected to miss practice for the next few days, and his status for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints is uncertain.
First and foremost, my thoughts go out to the Urlacher family, and I hope that everything turns out okay with him mom. As much as I want him out there playing football, his family should come first.
That being said, Urlacher is still one of the most important guys on the Bears and we all probably want to know how this news will affect the team. Most initial reports were pretty ambiguous about how long Brian will be away, but missing the game against the Saints is a possibility.
If Urlacher cannot play on Sunday, the Bears will most likely slide Nick Roach into the middle linebacker position and start Brian Iwuh on the strong side. The Bears also have undrafted rookie, Dom DiCicco, who looked decent in the preseason, at middle linebacker. Either scenario will be a huge step backwards for the Bears defense against one of the top offenses in the game. We could be in a lot of trouble here. Cutler is going to have to be near perfect if he wants to outgun Drew Brees.
Add to that the fact that Olin Kreutz, a guy who knows the Bears inside and out, will be under center for the Saints. In a battle of wits between Kreutz/Brees and Roach, Roach is going to be squashed like a bug.
Let’s hope Urlacher can return to the team and be ready to play against the Saints. Otherwise, the Bears will need to bring their own mad voodoo down to New Orleans to stop the Saints potent offense.
Update: The Chicago Bears have released a statement that Brian Urlacher’s mother passed away on Monday at her home in Texas.