After a brief behind-the-scenes visit from the PFT hamsters (related to — we kid you not — a livestreamed cricket match in India that is doing bananas traffic), we are rolling again and ready to roll after the first Sunday NFL smorgasbord of the year.
And there is plenty of news to get you caught up on, starting with the fallout from Brian Urlacher’s season-ending injury in Chicago. (The Bears have confirmed Urlacher will miss the season.)
To replace Urlacher, Lovie Smith will look to his past. Derrick Brooks made his first Pro Bowl in Smith’s first season as Tampa’s linebacker coach, all the way back in 1996.
It looks like Brooks will get a chance to finish out his career under Smith’s tutelage again. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Bears have already been in contact with Brooks. Schefter says Brooks could sign with the team as early as Monday.
Brooks has worked out for the Raiders and Saints previously this offseason, so his signing can’t be considered a lock. But the Bears are certainly needy, though, after losing Urlacher for the year and strong-side linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa for “at least a few weeks.”
Brooks is a more natural fit at weak-side linebacker, so Lance Briggs could be asked to move to the middle potentially.
Nick Roach and Jamar Williams should also be in the mix at linebacker for Chicago, and Hunter Hillenmeyer is a capable replacement for Tinoisamoa.