Chicago Bears: Media Overreacting to LB Brian Urlacher's Toradol Usage

Bob Bajek@bobbajekAnalyst IIIJanuary 27, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears sits on the bench during a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns at Soldier Field on September 1, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Browns 24-14. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The news media is overreacting to Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher's admission that he used the painkiller Toradol throughout his career.

Urlacher, a 12-year NFL veteran, told the Chicago Tribune that he used the controversial drug "about 40-50 times" throughout his career. While Urlacher didn't use it last year, he did say about four to five different Bears players would take it before each game.

According to The Tribune, "Toradol is a non-addictive, non-narcotic drug that serves as an anti-inflammatory and is frequently used on patients after surgeries to reduce swelling." The drug cuts down pain so players could perform on the field, but doesn't help an injury.

Reporters are questioning whether Urlacher has a problem, but this is to be expected. Fans and media want the best players on the field no matter what. Former NFL players, including Joe Horn and Jerome Pathon, probably knows this, and they are suing the NFL by saying it masks concussion-like symptoms and increases the risk of severe brain injuries.

Middle linebacker is a taxing position in the NFL, as Urlacher has to roam the middle to either stop opposing running backs or take on physical wide receivers and tight ends in down the field situations.

The star linebacker has received his fair share of injuries. Urlacher dislocated his wrist in 2009 that sidelined him for most of the season. In 2004, he had hamstring issues while having to deal with an arthritic back.

The New Mexico alum took Toradol shots during the Seattle Seahawk playoff game last January and again before the Green Bay Packers NFC Championship showdown. Without the shot, Urlacher probably would've missed those playoff games.


If Urlacher didn't take Toradol, the star linebacker would miss some significant time with injuries and swelling. What would reports and fans say if the heart and soul of the Bears' defense would not do everything in his power to help his team win?

A Catch-22 then ensues for players like Urlacher, as they are criticized for not playing hurt but also questioned if means like Toradol are taken to allow them to return to the field.

Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune he feels the team doctors are responsible in their administration of the drug and he would continue to use it despite potentially dangerous complications. 

In fact, Urlacher and his team doctors know his body well and are careful with Toradol, as he isn't addicted to the drug. Using Toradol might be controversial, but players like Urlacher want to get on the field as quickly as possible to help their team win.

That's part of the NFL's tough guy culture that the media and fans foster. Urlacher knows the risks for taking Toradol, and his responsible utilization of the drug shouldn't be criticized.


Bob Bajek is a featured columnist. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed on and Twitter.