Urlacher returns to camp but doesn't practice
Bears linebacker still has soreness in left knee
By Brad Biggs, Chicago Tribune reporter 7:51 p.m. CDT, August 11, 2012
BOURBONNAIS — Nearly a week away from the team for personal reasons has not healed Brian Urlacher's left knee, but replacements the Bears brought to training camp are because of other injuries at linebacker.
Urlacher returned to training camp Saturday at Olivet Nazarene after being excused for nearly a week, but he watched practice in a floppy hat, not a helmet. The eight-time Pro Bowl performer has not practiced since July 31. Unless he returns to action quickly, it's doubtful he will play in the second exhibition game Saturday against the Redskins at Soldier Field.
"Brian Urlacher is back after he has taken care of some business, so it is good to get him back out on the practice field even though he is not practicing yet," coach Lovie Smith said. "He still has some soreness with the knee. We'll continue to monitor it. Exactly when he will be back, I can't tell you that, but it's good to get him back here."
Asked if Urlacher's business away from the team involved the knee, Smith balked. (Smoking gun! You can bet on it)
"Brian's knee is sore and he has been gone for personal reasons," he said. "That is all we're going to really talk on the subject."
Urlacher had been wearing a brace on his knee when he was practicing. Smith warned a week ago the club was going to take its time with him, but everyone continues to say he will be ready when the regular season begins in four weeks.
He was cleared for full participation before camp opened after sitting out the offseason program. Urlacher sprained the medial collateral ligament and partially sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in the Jan. 1 finale last season at Minnesota.
It's not Urlacher's absence that prompted the Bears to add a pair of linebackers — Xavier Adibi, a former member of the Vikings and Texans, and K.C. Asiodu, an undrafted free agent from Central Oklahoma — to the roster. The Bears are running thin at the position as Dom DeCicco (groin) and Jabara Williams (hamstring) are out.
Smith said DeCicco, who was second on the team with 17 special teams tackles as a rookie, has a "pretty good pull" and "will be out a while."
The Bears also signed defensive end Aston Whiteside, an Abilene Christian product who was waived by the Cowboys on Monday. The team made room by moving Alex Brown to the reserve/retired list and waiving cornerback Jeremy Ware and defensive tackle Ronnie Cameron.