Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher didn’t do anything on the field during the spring because of the sprained ACL and PCL he suffered in the final week of the season.
According to Urlacher, that was all about caution and not a statement about the status of his knee. Urlacher told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune that he will be on the field “for sure” when the Bears start training camp on July 26, which is actually well past the point he was actually ready to resume doing more than lifting weights and running on the side.
“I could have participated in minicamp, but there was no reason to,” Urlacher said. “It was three days of stuff that I’m going to be doing at training camp, so there was no real reason to push it.”
Urlacher said he expects some extra time off during camp, which isn’t a bad strategy even without the knee issue. With more than a decade in the middle of the Bears defense under his belt, Urlacher’s not going to be too negatively affected by spending some time on the sideline. If a young linebacker can use the extra reps to earn a place on the team or show signs that he could replace Urlacher down the line, all the better.
In a perfect world, the Bears would have Urlacher and running back Matt Forte in camp on July 26, but Forte’s status remains in the air because he hasn’t signed his franchise tender or reached agreement on a new deal. Urlacher fell in line with Lance Briggs when asked about Forte. Urlacher told McClure that he won’t be bothered by any choice Forte makes regarding training camp because “all that counts” is that he’s on the field for the first week of the season.