|Urlacher says he'll play Week 1. (US Presswire)|
And though he still hasn't practiced since July 31, Urlacher repeated that promise in a recent interview with Fox 32, via the Chicago Tribune.
"I'm playing Sunday," Urlacher told Fox's Lou Cannelis. "That's a done deal."
It's believed that Urlacher will take the field when the team begins practice again this week in preparation for the game against Indy. And though Urlacher was optimistic about playing, he also said that following the surgery his knee "just isn't the same anymore" and that it is "never going to be the same."
Urlacher suffered the injury on New Year's Day against the Vikings and since then there's been plenty of speculation about his medical issues. Urlacher said in May that he was on schedule, then recently had to refute reports that he underwent multiple surgeries, and even reportedly flew overseas for "Kobe Surgery."
In short, there's plenty of reason to wonder about how well his knee will hold up.
"The knee has been an issue, obviously, since last season,” Urlacher said. "Felt good going into training camp. I was excited about it. Then, I kind of aggravated my knee during training camp. Then I had surgery, a little minor surgery, and it feels good again now. That's all that matters, I feel good going into the season."
Well, all that matters is really that Urlacher can get on the field and be effective. Though the Colts are nothing to sneeze at, it might be worth consideration for Chicago to ease their star linebacker onto the field, especially once we see how he responds to practice. The logic behind resting him is that it gives Urlacher additional time to prepare for the Bears Thursday night game against the Packers in Week 2.
Urlacher isn't buying that logic.
“I heard that too,” he said. “I don't see why. We have a day off Monday (Sept. 10) and our practices before that game will be quick anyway. There is not a whole lot that is going to happen. We already have our gameplan in, I think. Because we play Green Bay twice a year, we know what they're doing, they know what we're doing. There shouldn't be a whole lot of gameplanning going on."
Gameplanning isn't necessarily the issue. The issue is making sure he's in top football shape, although Urlacher admitted in the interview that getting in such form isn't something that will happen at this stage.
"There is no way," Urlacher said. "I will be as close to it as I can be. I have been doing some things. I've been in the pool, I have been running with our trainers and stuff on the side. But it's hard to get in shape in a week of practice, it's not possible. But I will get as close as I can to it."
If he's not going to get in top football shape by this week, and plans to play anyway, that's the Bears -- and Urlacher's -- call. It's a pretty aggressive play too, considering that Chicago's 2011 season ended prematurely thanks to major injuries late in the year. But good luck arguing with Urlacher that he shouldn't be out on the field once kickoff comes around.
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