Limitations persist for Bears MLB Urlacher

Posted Oct. 14, 2012 @ 12:51 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

League evaluators told PFW Brian Urlacher looked more spry in 2011 than he did in ’10, but the knee injury he suffered in Week 17 last season, which led to multiple offseason surgeries, has clearly taken a toll on the 34-year-old.

Scouts say Urlacher’s elite instincts are as strong as ever and are serving him well as he deals with physical limitations, but the 13th-year veteran has acknowledged that his knee does not feel right and it has shown in his play.

He’s not beating players to the point as frequently as he did in prior years and is on pace for 64 tackles, which would be the fewest he has had in a season in which he played nine games or more (he suffered a season-ending wrist injury in Week One of the 2009 season).

Urlacher said in a recent interview he has no doubt he will be an impact player again, but Chicago’s defense has dominated at times and played opportunistically despite Urlacher's limitations (he has not been credited with forcing any of the team’s 17 takeaways).

The knee has not kept Urlacher off the field much through five games. Since playing a season-low 44 percent of the snaps in the season opener, he has had a full workload. He did not miss a defensive snap in Weeks Two and Three, played all but 11 snaps in Week Four and all but 10 snaps in Chicago’s blowout win over the Jaguars in Week Five.