Brian Urlacher's Knee Injury Is Now a Major Concern for the 2012 Season

Brett SoleskyCorrespondent IAugust 13, 2012

Brian Urlacher
Brian UrlacherAdam Bettcher/Getty Images

Update: Tuesday, Aug. 14 at 8:14 a.m. ET

Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune sent out this tweet this morning that Brian Urlacher has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery on his left knee. This ends about a week's worth of speculation that Urlacher had previously undergone such a procedure. 

Urlacher is already back at training camp. Typical recovery time for this procedure is three to six weeks, meaning he may be available for the season opener on Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Here's the Chicago Tribune story on Urlacher's minor knee procedure.

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While Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has been consistent in his remarks about his knee injury and Lovie Smith has been straight with the media about Urlacher's availability for the season opener, new developments have arisen in regard to the severity of the injury.

In an interview that was aired last night on the Fox affiliate here in Chicago, sports reporter Lou Canellis tweeted a quote.

Paraphrasing the quote from the tweet, Urlacher stated "his knee will bother him all season."

What this essentially means is that arguably the most important cog in the Chicago Bears defense will be hampered all season by the injury. 

At this point it's only speculation, but as the season wears on Urlacher's knee could get worse and could potentially cause him to miss games. 

We still don't know the severity of Urlacher's injury, but rest assured that if it's something that could potentially hamper his play, it could hamper the Bears defense as a whole. 

Entering the final year of his contract with a desire to play two or three more seasons, Urlacher obviously wants to earn one more solid payday. 

What's more, Urlacher wants to play because this year is as good as any for the Bears to compete for a Super Bowl title, and Urlacher doesn't want to miss what may be his last and best opportunity. 

For now, the question is how big of a step back will Urlacher's play and production take? Will he not be as good of a player as he is capable of being, even at 34 years old?

All we know for now is that Urlacher's injury is serious enough that the depth behind him becomes a concern.

Nick Roach is taking the primary snaps at middle linebacker this training camp in Urlacher's absence.  Roach, however, could be viewed as a liability in coverage since he's the first one out in nickel situations. 

Also getting time at middle linebacker is converted safety Dom DeCicco, who was having a strong camp up until his groin injury.  DeCicco now is expected to miss some time, though Lovie is being coy about the severity of that injury as well.