Sunday– As the Chicago Bears come closer to their first pre season game on Thursday, the injuries are beginning to mount up.
Pro bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher missed his fourth practice in a row due to injury and running back Matt Forte and wide receiver Earl Bennett were unable to finish practice with minor injuries today.
Urlacher still appears to be fighting soreness in his left knee that he injured as he collided with safety Major Wright in Week 17 last season. The injury did not require him to have surgery but to this point it is clear that the injury is still slowing him down. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Urlacher will not play against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night.
“His knee is still a little bit sore” said head coach Lovie Smith after practice on Sunday. “We will take our time with Brian, we know we he can do.”
The Bears also held defensive end Julius Peppers, linebacker Jabara Williams and receiver/ return man Eric Weems out of practice. Lovie didn’t identify the injury of Peppers but it appears that the Bears are just taking precautionary measures with the season still more than a month away.
“We held Julius Peppers out of practice today, nothing serious” said Smith. “Eric Weems is getting better each day. He’s still not ready to go yet. Jabara Williams hurt his hamstring a little bit. This time of the year you get a few injuries like this.”
Fortunately, the injuries with Forte and Bennett do not seem to be anything serious. Forte injured his thumb during practice and left the field with athletic trainers. He would later return to practice but did not participate. Bennett also sustained his injury during practice. After doing some drills, Bennett appeared to injure his leg. He had ice on his leg for a while but seemed to be doing better at the end of practice even though he did not participate.
In other training camp news, wide receiver Devin Thomas retired today before practice. Thomas, just 25, told reporters that he will be spending his time helping young kids reaching their football dreams. Thomas was on track to make the team as the fifth receiver. Now the door is open for Dane Sanzenbacher. Sanzenbacher who will be in his second year with the Bears received some time with the first and second string today with the injury to Bennett.