Word spread Tuesday that Brian Urlacher was injured in the Chicago Bears' 23-17 loss to the Seattle Seahawks this past Sunday. According to ESPNChicago.com, he suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain and will miss at least three games, possibly four, which would mean the rest of the regular season.
While Urlacher is undoubtedly a face of the franchise and a leader on the field, to say the Bears' season is over because he is sidelined is probably the most ignorant statement one could make.
One blogger described Urlacher as the glue that holds the defense together. At one point in time I would have agreed with that statement, but just as the glue that holds together history's most classic novels fades and stretches with age, so does the ability of this Bears linebacker.
I am not taking anything away from Urlacher, as he is still very much a force to be reckoned with; however, had he not gotten injured, this year's numbers were still not going to reach last year's, and those were already a decline from the year before.
Lance Briggs is actually at the top spot of combined tackles with 70, and Charles Tillman, the king of forced fumbles, is right below him with 67. Chris Conte with 54 and Major Wright with 52 are also two guys who can make things happen. Let's also not forget that Julius Peppers leads the way with seven sacks.
This Urlacher injury seems to be a bit overdramatized because it is coupled with Tim Jennings' shoulder injury, which doesn't appear to be serious yet leaves his status for this week's game against the Vikings uncertain.
Just because one well-known defenseman goes down, that does not mean an entire team watches its playoff hopes go out the window. It just means it is time for everyone on the team to step up in a big way. This begins the true test of the Bears' heart and passion.
The Bears have four games remaining this season, including tilts against the Vikings and Lions, both of whom they have already beaten this year; the Arizona Cardinals, who are sitting in last place in their division; and the Green Bay Packers, who are also injury-laden.
What's that famous phrase in sports? Offense wins games, but defense wins championship? Cutler, Marshall and Forte need to lead the way over the course of these next four games. By the time the playoffs begin the Bears defense will be healthy, just when it matters the most.
There is no need for Bears fans to panic.
Follow Laura Ludlum on Twitter: @BrownEyedNJGirl
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