Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher’s recovery after spraining his ACL and MCL in Week 17 hasn’t gone as smoothly as originally hoped.
It was supposed to be about 10 weeks for Urlacher to be back to work, but he sat out the first day of Organized Team Activities on Tuesday and he’s not likely to be a participant in any future OTAs either. June’s minicamp doesn’t look like it will feature much work from Urlacher either, which means training camp is the target date for his return to the field. Despite the slowed-down schedule, Urlacher doesn’t sound concerned about his knee.
“It’s getting better,” Urlacher said, via Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “I’m on schedule, so I feel good. At this stage, I know the defense pretty well. I’m not worried about being out there and not knowing what I’m doing.”
Urlacher certainly doesn’t need the extra time to learn the defense and the time spent with Dom DeCicco at middle linebacker with the first team could wind up paying off for the Bears down the road. Urlacher is 34 and this episode with his knee is a reminder that the body doesn’t bounce back quite as quickly once you get to that age. The cautious approach lets the Bears know that they will have a more experienced backup as well as the healthiest Urlacher possible come the start of the season.