What’s in store for Urlacher in 2012?

The Chicago Bears were full of smooth moves this off season making improvements to the team’s offense, but it looks like things are a little shaky on the defensive end coming into the 2012-2013 season. Eight-time Pro Bowl selection Brian Urlacher, the heart and soul of the Chicago Bears defense, is still suffering from a knee injury he faced last season. After all the excitement from the offensive Cutler-Marshall duo wears off, should Bears fans be a little worried?

Last Tuesday Urlacher had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee – AKA a left knee scope. Now we’ve learned that Urlacher didn’t necessarily wait until the last minute to relieve his knee pain. According to a Chicago Tribune report, Urlacher traveled to Europe earlier this offseason for a “non-invasive treatment” on his left knee. This treatment is known as Regenokine injection therapy and has been utilized by other athletes such a Kobe Bryant and Alex Rodriguez. What’s the catch you ask? The procedure has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration  so it’s not “up for discussion” just yet.

The middle linebacker and the Bears are still targeting the Sept. 9 opener against Indianapolis for his return, but is this the best idea? The Bears organization keeps emphasizing the importance of the first game of the year – why rush Urlacher back on the field before he’s absolutely ready (especially when the Bears should be able to beat the Colts without their Pro Bowl Linebacker)? Does Lovie Smith’s defense only work if all four Pro Bowl defensive players stay healthy and on the field?

Urlacher acknowledged that the knee could be an issue all season adding, ‘‘I don’t see it getting any better during the season. We have to manage it, my reps in practice, and then get through Sunday.’’

Right now, fill-in middle linebacker Nick Roach can play the position capably. The key to the Bear’s success defensively will highly be influenced by the pass rush. In the preseason game against the Redskins we saw an example of some sultry pass rushing when Israel Idonije forced Robert Griffin III to fumble and Julius Peppers recovered the ball. If the big men up front get a ferocious rhythm going, our defense can survive while Urlacher recovers.

Knee injuries are no walk in the park and should always be taken seriously. Ultimately, it’s most important that Chicago brings Urlacher back slowly and the team tries to overcome his absence in the meantime. We gotta be cautious! We need the big man for some Bears playoff wins!

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