Brian Urlacher will start on Thursday

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Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher wasn’t thrilled about being taken out of Sunday’s victory over the Colts, but it seems like the reduced workload has him in good shape for Thursday night’s game against the Packers.

Coach Lovie Smith updated Urlacher’s condition on Tuesday, shortly after Urlacher missed the team’s practice. That absence suggested a problem with Urlacher’s knee that might keep him from being on the field, but Smith’s message was on the opposite extreme.

“I think Brian is good to go on everything,” Smith said, via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune. “I just know Brian is going to start the game this week. He is in good shape.”

The knee is almost certainly going to be a season-long issue for the Bears to manage in terms of Urlacher’s reps in both practice and games, but the early results are showing that can work as long as Urlacher’s condition doesn’t get any worse. The extra time off after the Packers game should be a good thing on that front.

Urlacher wasn’t the only defensive starter missing from practice on Tuesday. Cornerback Charles Tillman was also on the sidelines as a result of a shin injury he suffered against the Colts. Smith said that Tillman’s improving and that there’s still hope that he’ll be able to help the effort to stop Aaron Rodgers.