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The Bears Den: September 4, 2012 - Week 1 News and Notes

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"...where we don't stop for your holiday days, nor for mine."

Urlacher returns to practice field - Larry Saeed al-Mayer: There is no knee issue with Brian. There is nothing to see.

Brian Urlacher et al. should reconsider rushing back - Despite all the talk about safety, concussion protocol and life after football, NFL players are pushing too hard to play in the openers.

Peter King's MMQB - Labor squabble with game officials leading to uneasiness on opening week.

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Urlacher Kneewatch 2012

Brian Urlacher back in action at practice - Made good on his vow to practice Monday as he took part in individual drills during the short portion of practice open to the media.

Urlacher resumes practicing, had a good first day back - Moon Mullin: Brian Urlacher returned to practice on Monday and according to Coach Lovie Smith, he had a successful day back. He is ready to kickoff his13th season in a Bears uniform.

[Video] Kip Lewis & Moon Mullin - Recapping Urlacher's return to practice on Monday. Also: Paea, Conte.

Urlacher practices, seems ready to play in opener - Sean Jensen: Completed two-hour practice without incident; During the brief portion of practice reporters are allowed to watch, Urlacher had no trouble changing directions.

Urlacher in action - Photos from Monday's practice at Halas Hall ahead of Sunday's season opener.

Urlacher can be plenty effective at less than full strength - Melissa Isaacson: You suspect Urlacher will be honest with himself and upfront with the Bears. Now if only the team will follow his lead.

[Video] Urlacher: 'I'm Playing Sunday' - Brian Urlacher joins "The Final Word" on Fox Chicago to discuss his playing status for this Sunday against the Colts.

Urlacher vows that 'I'm playing Sunday' - Jeff Dickerson: Urlacher expects to start Sunday against the Colts, despite having undergone multiple procedures on his left knee that forced him off the practice field for the entire offseason program and the bulk of training camp. [Video]

Urlacher says playing opener a 'done deal,' but... - ...also admitted that his surgically repaired knee will 'never be the same.'

[Video] CTL on Urlacher returning to practice - Discuss whether injury will hamper his game, at least in the short term, and the lack of reps.

[Video] Concerns regarding Urlacher's knee - Adam Schefter: "75-80% of Brian Urlacher still is better than most of the LBs in this league."

Okoye in, Price out

Conte, Paea also return to practice - Jeff Dickerson: Adam Podlesh continues to make progress, although rookie Ryan Quigley did all the kicking during the portion of practice open to the media.

Okoye thrilled to return to Bears - Larry Saeed al-Mayer: Never really signed with Tampa Bay in the first place... you are huffing paint if you think it ever happened...

Bears re-sign Amobi Okoye, cut Brian Price - Sean Jensen: The Tampa Bay honeymoon didn’t last once Okoye underwent a knee scope in June.

DT switch: Amobi Okoye signed, Brian Price waived - Michael C. Wright: Bears shore up depth on the DL by bringing back DT Amobi Okoye with a one-year contract, in addition to waiving Brian Price.

Okoye return adds rush component to DL - Moon Mullin: Rod Marinelli has made a mantra out of requirement No. 1 for his linemen: Rush the passer.

Amobi Okoye takes issue with Bucs coach Greg Schiano - Felt Schiano's words, particularly the reference to his knee problems, went against everything the coach preached regarding T.B.A: trust, belief and accountability.

Okoye's return to the Bears results in range of emotions - Moon Mullin: Schiano's questioning of Okoye's knee was curious, given that he missed two games in 2008 but has played all 16 games in his other four NFL seasons. Says Schiano's comments on knee unfair.

Other Bears news

Blanchard ecstatic to be back with Bears - Larry Mayer: local boy and lifelong Bears fan will hone his skills on the practice field and in meeting rooms alongside veterans Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell.

Ryan Quigley could punt against Colts - Will Ryan Quigley be the Bears’ punter on Sunday? Even Quigley says he’s on a need-to-know basis. Also: Paea, Conte, Blanchard, Allen.

Fullback Clutts compares, contrasts Forte and Foster - WCG favourite now gets to pave the way for another star running back in Houston.

Briggs: “We deserve to go to a Super Bowl … It’s time” - Moon Mullin: Lance Briggs has been through the ups and downs throughout his career with the Bears, but believes that it's time for the Bears to go to the Super Bowl.

Ten Week 1 questions - Matt Bowen: "What am I looking for from Urlacher? Pursuit to the football, lateral quickness, the ability to run the inside vertical seam in Cover 2 and tackling." Better or worse? - Michael Lombardi: The Bears' offensive line remains the biggest concern entering the season; that unit will determine Chicago's playoff chances.

Bears celebrating Back to Football Week - Activities throughout the week.

Everything else How will replacement refs affect Week 1 action? - analysts (not including Adam Rank, I note) provide their viewpoints on a critical topic.

Jim Miller: Replacement officials a recipe for disaster - Has witnessed first-hand how awful the replacement officials have been during the preseason and thinks at some point Roger Goodell needs to be held responsible for their shortcomings.

Dan Pompei's NFL power rankings - For what it's worth, he's got the Bears inside the top 10.

ESPN expert predictions: Super Bowl XLVII - Not enough koolaid.

Know thy enemy - CB Drayton Florence is taking first-team reps in practice with the Lions, only three days after getting the boot from the Broncos.

Written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach for the 1969 film "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.