Brian Urlacher: I'll Be Ready For Season Opener vs Colts
Linebacker Brian Urlacher reiterated his readiness to play in the Chicago Bears' Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts.
"September 9, I'll be ready to play for sure," said Urlacher, who did not play in the team's preseason-opening loss to the Denver Broncos Thursday after missing consecutive workouts.
Urlacher clarified that personal reasons were behind his absences from training camp Tuesday and Wednesday and had nothing to do with his health while four of the absences were attributed to soreness in his left knee.
The linebacker sprained his sprained the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments during the Bears' 2011 regular-season finale.
"The season opener is all that matters to me," Urlacher said. "Preseason games and all these practices -- I'd love to be out there -- but I'm not gonna put myself in jeopardy of missing the first game."
He returned to training camp Saturday, but coach Lovie Smith held him out of practice, saying the Urlacher continues to battle soreness in the knee.
"Exactly when he'll be back, I can't tell you that," Smith said.
Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowler, said the knee feels better and he did not undergo additional testing on the knee during his absence.
"Our doctors are the best. I trust what they say. I just do what I'm told to do," Urlacher said. "I practiced the first four or five days (of training camp) and felt pretty good. Then it got sore and a little swollen. So I'm taking some time off right now."
"I hope," Urlacher replied when asked whether the knee ever will be 100 percent this season.
"I felt great coming into training camp," he said. "The brace doesn't allow me to do a lot of things, but (I) still ran pretty fast and moved around pretty good (early in camp). I've been off for nine or 10 days now. It feels better. I'm not running around on it of course, (so) it's not gonna swell up as bad."
Smith said the Bears are "pretty banged up" at the linebacker position as Jabara Williams is sidelined with a hamstring injury while Dom DeCicco is expected to miss an extended period because of a pulled groin.
"As you look down the football field today, we had five linebackers out of uniform. It's hard to practice that way," said Smith, who signed Xavier Adibi and K.C. Asiodu to fill up the linebacking vacancies.
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