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Urlacher says he uses pain-killing injections

The Sports Xchange

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher said he uses injections of an anti-inflammatory called Toradol in order to play through pain.

"It's normal," Urlacher told "Real Sports" in an appearance on the HBO program. "You drop your pants, you get the alcohol, they give you a shot, put the Band-Aid on and you go out and play."

Kidney failure and gastrointestinal bleeding are among the possible long-term risks of using the drug, reporter Andrea Kreamer said during the segment. Urlacher indicated he was unaware of the side effects, but said it wouldn't make a difference if he did.

"First of all, we love football," Urlacher said in quotes obtained by the Chicago Tribune. "We want to be on the field as much as we can be. If we can be out there, it may be stupid, it may be dumb, call me dumb and stupid then, because I want to be on the football field."

Urlacher even said he would "hide" a concussion from his team in order to continue playing.

"If I have a concussion these days, I'm going to say something happened to my toe or knee just to get my bearings for a few plays," he told HBO, according to the Tribune. "I'm not going to sit in there and say I got a concussion. (Then) I can't go in there the rest of the game."

Urlacher had 102 tackles and three interceptions this past season for the 8-8 Bears.

Urlacher's comments, and certainly his playing style, harken back to another Bears legend: Dick Butkus.

After playing in severe pain for the last few years of his career, the hard-hitting Butkus finally took himself out of a 1973 game vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

The next year Butkus sued the Bears team doctor for alleged mistreatment of his injuries, and received $600,000 as a settlement according to Gannett News Service. Butkus went on to undergo reconstructive knee surgery in 1997.

When Donovan McNabb played on a broken ankle in a 2002 game, Butkus' lawsuit was recalled. Selena Roberts wrote at the time: "Almost 30 years after Dick Butkus sued the Bears over the damage caused when his knees were treated as pincushions for pain shots, it is time for the league and the union to revamp the system."

While the league has made some changes regarding legal or illegal hits, some would say to the detriment of the NFL, Butkus' playing spirit lives on through Urlacher: a true throwback if ever there was one.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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