Extra time off should help Brian Urlacher

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- When the Bears take the field Monday night it will be their first live game action since they defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 15 days ago on October 7 before the bye week. That extra time off should have been beneficial to several key players nursing injuries, the most notable being middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and his problematic left knee.

"It’s the same either way," Urlacher said about the time off. "I still practiced last week. The few days off were good and bad because you come back and you get tired on Monday when you practice because you had three or four days off. But it doesn’t affect my knee either way. The rest is always good for everybody. No more me than anybody else."

Urlacher returned to the practice field Saturday after being held out the day before due to coach's decision. The Bears have made a concerted effort to rest Urlacher's knee at least once a week in the regular season. The perennial Pro Bowl middle linebacker missed basically the entire preseason because of knee problems that stem back to last year's season finale in Minneapolis when Urlacher damaged both the PCL and MCL ligaments in his left knee.

Urlacher is currently third on the team in tackles (30) through the club's first five games but made only three stops in 48 defensive snaps during the Bears' 41-3 victory over the Jaguars. Although the Bears won the game in blowout fashion, it did mark just the seventh time in Urlacher's illustrious 13-year NFL career that he recorded three or fewer tackles in a game.

Given the 15 day gap between games, Urlacher is likely to be more active versus the Lions. The middle linebacker has recorded 229 tackles, 7.0 sacks, one interception and has recovered two fumbles in 21 career starts against Detroit.