After taking part in practices from the beginning of camp, Urlacher missed several days after complaining of knee soreness. The Bears then declared Urlacher was missing time for “personal reasons” as opposed to his absence being injury related. That only fueled speculation that Urlacher was seeking advice from various doctors and specialists on what the next best step would be.
Addressing the knee problem at this point was in the best interest of both Urlacher and the team. Throughout this process, both Urlacher and the team were adamant that the linebacker would be ready by opening day. It is unclear whether this surgery will change that prognosis, but getting it done early in the preseason and missing perhaps Week 2’s showdown against the Packers is far better than had Urlacher tried to labor through the pain only to have to sit out several weeks in the middle of the season.
There’s still no guarantee that the 34-year-old Urlacher will return to the field and experience no side effects from last year’s season-ending injury. But addressing the problem now rather than trying to get him on the field for the season opener was clearly the best course of action.
- 2016 Chicago Bears training camp: what to watch
- Charles Tillman retires after 13 NFL seasons
- Legendary Bears defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan dies at 82
- Alshon Jeffery at minicamp, still wants long-term deal
- Bears sign Jonathan Bullard to 4-year deal
- Chicago Bears sign offensive tackle Nate Chandler
- Jake Long to work out with Bears
- Alshon Jeffery contract status: WR skips voluntary practices
- Bears sign Leonard Floyd
- Report: Chicago Bears, Willie Young in contract extension talks