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Bears’ Urlacher Is Lost to Injury

From Associated Press

Just when their defense was playing at a high level and sparking a three-game winning streak, the Chicago Bears lost star linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Urlacher will be out at least four weeks after suffering an injury to his lower left leg that required a surgical procedure Monday to relieve the pressure of internal bleeding.

The four-time Pro Bowler was injured during Sunday’s 19-17 victory over the Tennessee Titans, but the severity did not surface until later.

“He suffered a blow yesterday to his lower leg,” Coach Lovie Smith said Monday, adding he didn’t know when Urlacher would be released from the hospital.

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“Last night we could tell something was wrong. So my immediate reaction, of course you know what that was. Brian Urlacher is a great player, a big part of what we are doing around here,” Smith said.

“We’ve had injuries before. We’ve had some tough injuries. I wanted to know if it was season-ending and it isn’t. So my next thought was, ‘OK we are going to have to survive a while without Brian.’ ”

Urlacher didn’t miss a game in his first four seasons, but he hurt his hamstring in the first practice of training camp and sat out the entire exhibition season. He played two regular-season games before the hamstring forced him out of games against Minnesota and Philadelphia, both losses.

Hunter Hillenmeyer, who filled in for Urlacher when he was out earlier in the season, will move back to middle linebacker. Joe Odom will move into Hillenmeyer’s spot on the outside. Lance Briggs is the other starter at linebacker.


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