As stories about multiple knee surgeries and trips to Europe for experimental treatments surfaced this month, the chances of Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher playing against the Colts in Week One of the regular season seemed to get dimmer and dimmer.
Urlacher hasn’t practiced since getting his knee scoped two weeks ago, but coach Lovie Smith said Tuesday that the linebacker is making progress. Smith expects to see Urlacher back on the field for practice next week and he hasn’t altered his belief that we’ll see Urlacher in the lineup to try to force Andrew Luck into some boneheaded mistakes a week from Sunday.
“Just like we’ve said all along, I expect to see No. 54 on the field next week in practice and playing against the Colts,” Smith said, via the Northwest Herald.
Urlacher and the Bears will have to make a quick turnaround after the Colts game to get ready to face the Packers on Thursday night, which will allow for a pretty quick test of how well Urlacher’s knee will hold up to the rigors of the season. While the most recent scope was done in order to get Urlacher on the field, the sum total of the attention paid to the knee this offseason suggests keeping Urlacher in the lineup will be almost as big a task as getting him into it in the first place.