Brian Urlacher missed Tuesday’s first day of organized team activities, but the veteran Bears linebacker is not concerned about the health of his left knee.
Urlacher, who attended former teammate Desmond Clark’s charity bowling event Tuesday evening, continues to rehab his knee after spraining the medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments during the Jan. 1 season finale against the Vikings in Minnesota. He initially was told it would take 10 weeks to stabilize the knee, but there was no need for him to rush back into action.
“It’s getting better,” Urlacher said. “I’m on schedule, so I feel good. At this stage, I know the defense pretty well. I’m not worried about being out there and not knowing what I’m doing.”
Urlacher is unlikely to participate much in the nine remaining voluntary OTAs and could be limited for mandatory veteran mini-camp June 12-14. Tuesday, he spent time running on a side field at Halas Hall.
Urlacher was asked when he expected to be back on the field in a practice setting.
“Definitely training camp, I think,” he said. “The OTAs are not as important.”
Second-year player Dom DeCicco will get more reps with the first-team defense at middle linebacker with Urlacher sidelined.
Strong-side linebacker Nick Roach isn’t overly concerned about Urlacher’s rehabilitation, either.
“If there’s one guy you don’t have to worry about being ready, it’s Brian,” Roach said. “He’s always doing what he needs to get his body right.”
Urlacher wasn’t the only defensive starter not on the practice field Tuesday. Starting nickel back D.J. Moorewas excused for personal reasons. The Bears have several players capable of playing there, including starting cornerback Tim Jennings, veteran newcomer Kelvin Hayden and rookie draft picks Isaiah Frey and Greg McCoy.
Hayden remains sidelined as he recovers from a toe injury.
In terms of the offense, Urlacher raved about what he has witnessed so far.
“The ball is gone quick,” Urlacher said. “Jay (Cutler) makes his reads and gets rid of the football. … Our offensive line is good. We’re big up front. Obviously Brandon Marshall and Devin (Hester) out there; Alshon Jeffery’s good. Michael Bush. I could go on and on about our guys.”