The Chicago Bears will be without middle linebacker Brian Urlacher in Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers. Packers tight end Jermichael Finley believes that will help the Bears.
"Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he's playing a little slow out there," Finley said Wednesday, via Fox Sports Wisconsin. "I don't think they're losing too much if he's out. Putting another guy in might help them a little."
Urlacher is an eight-time Pro Bowl pick and a four-time first-team All-Pro. He has 53 tackles, one interception and no sacks in 2012.
Urlacher, likely sidelined for the rest of the regular season, certainly isn't the same player in his 13th season that he used to be, but are the Bears really worse without him? From Finley's perspective, he might have a point. The Packers aren't a good matchup for the likely Hall of Famer. Urlacher does his damage around the line of scrimmage and really shouldn't chase someone like Finley downfield. The Packers are a pass-first team with multiple receiver and tight end sets. Urlacher would be caught in passing situations more than usual.
"He's the face of the franchise," Bears coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday. "He's helped us win a lot of football games around here. We're a better football team with him on the football field."
The Chicago Tribune reports Brian Urlacher is expected to miss the next three games with a Grade 2 hamstring strain.
The Sun-Times confirms the timetable. Urlacher said he heard a "pop" while chasing Russell Wilson late in last week's game. He could end up missing the remainder of the regular season, with the goal to return for the playoffs. Despite losing a step to knee woes, Urlacher has been the Bears leading tackler (88) while producing three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. Nick Roach is expected to move to the middle with Geno Hayes entering the lineup on the strong side.