Since it has been something we've touched on multiple times the last few weeks, it should come as no surprise that Brian Urlacher's status for the Week 1 tilt against the Fighting Andrew Lucks—aka the Indianapolis Colts—is in doubt.
At first glance you'd have to think that, if he were going to miss at least one game, the Colts game would be manageable.
After all, they have some talented players to sub for him—Nick Roach heading the top of the list—and the Colts are a raw and rebuilding team.
However, it's not as simple as plugging a body into the spot. Sure, Roach could be a very productive inside linebacker. However, as Aaron Nagler points out in this excellent breakdown of the situation, Urlacher does more than jack up running backs in the middle of the field.
Urlacher helps to call out the offensive formations, adjust the defenders around him and keep the offense guessing as to what the defense will do.
Frankly, I have to say I am disappointed I probably won't get to see he and rookie Andrew Luck play their game in Week 1. So far in the preseason, Luck has shown an uncanny ability to read defenses and a rare poise in the pocket.
Which actually could pose more problems for the Bears in that game than you'd expect. Luck might have had a real hard time out-thinking the wily Urlacher, but a guy like Roach has far less experience at the position with that kind of responsibility.
I'd still choose the Bears over the Colts for the game easily, but Luck may look better than he might otherwise with Urlacher out.
Expect other key veterans—Julius Peppers and Lance Briggs come to mind—to take over some of the play adjusting and reading of the offense that Urlacher would normally do.
Ultimately, the Colts are just too exhausted of talent to really threaten the Bears, whether Urlacher is there to help or not.
The game between the Bears and Colts is likely to fall in the Bears' favor.
However, the game between Andrew Luck and the Bears' defense just got a whole lot more intriguing if Urlacher misses it.