Brian Urlacher has been ruled out this week with a grade 2 hamstring injury. What is the difference between grade 1 and grade 2 you ask? I have no idea. But I can tell you that this means he will be out 2-4 weeks and possibly longer. For Urlacher, who has been playing on a hurt knee all season since he injured it at the end of last year, this is another blow to his already deteriorating health. Maybe the recovery time will help his body rest in time for a playoff run, if Chicago can last that long in his absence. What is certain is that the Bears will miss his presence in the middle of the field, both for his knowledge of the game and leadership of the defense. Urlacher has been manning the middle of the defense for years, and his absence will be a weird experience indeed.
The Bears must find a way to overcome his injury both in the present and for the future. While Urlacher could miss 2-4 weeks, he could also miss more time given his recent history of leg problems and how hard he always plays. He is constantly risking his body for the good of the team, a curse and a blessing at the same time. For now, Nick Roach will slide over and take his place, and Geno Hayes will start in Roach’s original spot. Against the Vikings, controlling the center of the field is crucial for stopping Adrian Peterson and the running game. With the news that Percy Harvin is now on the injured reserve list and will miss this game, the Vikings will focus their offense through Peterson like they did last week, when he ran for 210 yards and an electrifying touchdown. The Bears hope for a repeat of when they faced Minnesota 2 weeks ago, but the loss of Urlacher could spell trouble for Chicago.