Linebacker Urlacher out for seasonFinally healthy after two years, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher launched his regular season by making a run at Aaron Rodgers, lowering his shoulder and plowing over the Packers quarterback in the first quarter.
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Finally healthy after two years, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher launched his regular season by making a run at Aaron Rodgers, lowering his shoulder and plowing over the Packers quarterback in the first quarter.
His 10th season was off to a good start. And then, it was over.
Chicago’s star linebacker went on injured reserve after having surgery Monday to repair a dislocated right wrist and will not be back this season, a major blow for a team with high expectations.
There was no immediate word from Urlacher other than a text message to the Chicago Tribune that said simply: “season is over.” But coach Lovie Smith said Urlacher clearly was disappointed.
“He had put himself in position to have an outstanding year,” Smith said. “He was playing well in the game before he went down with the injury. Even after the injury to his hand, the competitor in him wanted to continue to play. It’s a tough break. There’s no way around it, but he’s been injured before and he’s come back before.”
With Urlacher out, Hunter Hillenmeyer is expected to start at middle linebacker this week when the Bears host defending champion Pittsburgh. Chicago also signed linebacker Tim Shaw, who got cut by Jacksonville this month, to a one-year deal on Monday.
The injury to Urlacher occurred in the first quarter of Sunday’s 21-15 loss at Green Bay, though it was not clear when. Urlacher briefly shook his wrist after tackling Packers running back Ryan Grant late in the period, though Smith said he wasn’t sure when it happened.