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If Urlacher Can Play, He Should Play

NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 18:   Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears warms up prior turnover playing the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - SEPTEMBER 18: Brian Urlacher #54 of the Chicago Bears warms up prior turnover playing the New Orleans Saints at Louisiana Superdome on September 18, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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And so should any other player for that matter. In the last few days, I have heard lots of talk about whether or not Urlacher should play against the Colts this Sunday, or maybe wait a while longer. Everyone and the grandmother is worried that his knee is going to explode if he even takes to the field. Well, seemingly everyone, except Brian Urlacher himself that is. Judging by comments made by the Bears linebacker, he is ready to go and can't wait to play all sixteen games.

Read on to find out why Bears fans should not be anxious at the thought of Urlacher suiting up against Indianapolis this Sunday.

I am of the opinion that you should never withhold a player from a game if he is fit to play. I also find it terribly patronizing when I hear suggestions that Urlacher shouldn't play against the Colts, but should play a few days later against the Packers. Yes, the Colts are an inferior team, but every game matters, does it not. If you don't think it's important, then why not just field the practice squad against Indy.

In fact, it was Tom Waddle from ESPN1000 that yesterday, rather foolishly suggested that exact thing. He asked why Urlacher would want to play against the Colts, when he could get extra rest and be super ready for Green Bay.

Urlacher responded:

"Because every game is big" He then had to remind Waddle "you played football, you wanna be out there every game, that's all there is to it. I wanna be out there"

Waddle then went on to say how concerned he was at Urlacher missing so much training camp, to which the big number 54 simply replied: "Well, I'm sorry for your concern"

That says it all for me. Urlacher was clearly trying to get across the point that he is a football player. And he plays football. That's what he likes to do and that's what he gets paid to do. He's not for one moment thinking about whether he should play against one team but not another. If he can play, then he'll play.

Of course, this decision is not entirely in his hands. The final call has to come down to head coach Lovie Smith, but I can't see Smith keeping Urlacher from playing in any game he feels he can contribute to.

Legitimate concern does remain over how much of the season Urlacher will make it through. If he stays healthy then there is no reason he shouldn't play all sixteen regular season games. Some pundits have been suggesting that they would rather Urlacher play towards the end of the season, than risk getting injured in the early part of the campaign. I do not subscribe to this school of thought. I want the best players out there every game. I don't even like when teams 'rest' players when they have already reached the playoffs. I understand why this happens but don't find it very sporting, and borders on insulting the other team and the game itself.

What I did find interesting listening to Urlacher on the Waddle and Silvy show (which you can listen to here) was his reluctance to discuss any extra surgery he might well have had this off season. He said:

"It's no one's business what I do. The Bears wanted to release (details) of the arthroscopic surgery, which is fine with me. I had that procedure done, it's not a big is my business what I do with my body. As long as I'm ready to play for football seasons and Sundays, that's all that people should care about.

While I respect his privacy (to an undisclosed extent), I find it strange that he wouldn't be happy to talk about it. What is there to be so secretive about? According to reports, the surgery conducted in Germany by Peter Wehling is pioneering and several American athletes have sought his services.

Perhaps the reason for Urlacher's reluctance to discuss the issue is the fact that the Regenokine therapy, as it's known, has not been approved by the US administration for food and drugs. Would Urlacher think he'd get in trouble somehow for admitting he underwent the therapy? Surely not.

Even though I have previously stated that the Bears can still be successful without Urlacher, I clearly realize we are a better football team with him on the field. And if he says he can play, then let's respect the man and be happy that he wants to play. Every game. Because in my opinion, as well as the pro bowl linebacker's opinion, every game is big.