Brian Urlacher is a man of his word. He vowed that he would play in the Bears opener on September 9th. He took a first step toward keeping that word by returning to practice after taking the month of August off to tend to an ailing knee.
“He had a good first day back,” coach Lovie Smith said following Monday’s practice. “He’s got to get in shape. I’m sure he’ll tell you that and a few other things like that. But we didn’t have any trouble with him today. He’s right on schedule.”
Urlacher confirmed that it’s “a done deal” that he is playing on Sunday, but it remains to be seen how effective he’ll be. Even Lovie admitted that Urlacher needs to get in game shape and Urlacher knows there are going to be limitations with the knee:
Urlacher acknowledged that while he is not experiencing in any pain, his “knee just isn’t the same anymore. It’s never going to be the same.” He also conceded that after missing a month of practice “there is no way” he will be 100 percent in game shape for the season opener.
“I will be as close to it as I can be,” he said. “I have been doing some things. I’ve been in the pool. I have been running with our trainers on the side. But it’s hard to get in shape in a week of practice. It’s not possible. But I will get as close as I can to it.”
I haven’t doubted his ability to get back for the opener, it’s whether he’s effective when he plays and it’s whether he’ll be able to bounce back to play just 4 days later vs the Packers on September 13th.
If I were the Bears, I’d sit Urlacher until Week 1-1/2 at Green Bay.
What do you think? Will Urlacher play in Week 1? Should he play in Week 1 or would wait until the Packers game in Week 2? Let’s hear your thoughts.