Black and Blue all over: Urlacher has minor ailment

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
We noted Wednesday that Chicago linebacker Brian Urlacher missed Wednesday's organized team activity for reasons that were initially unexplained. The Bears' Web site eventually reported that Urlacher missed the practice for a "minor ailment."

According to Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune, Urlacher is expected to miss one more OTA session before returning. He also missed one last week because of a personal matter, McClure reported.

It's worth noting again that usually there is no reason to be concerned if a veteran misses an OTA. These practices are voluntary, and unless the absence is related to a contract dispute or a major injury, roll call is mildly newsworthy at best.

Continuing around the NFC North:

  • Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times reports the Bears are looking into alternative training camp sites that are closer to Chicago than Olivet Nazarene University. The team likely will remain at its current site through at least 2010, according to Mulligan.

  • David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune examines whether the Bears should pursue a veteran backup for quarterback Jay Cutler.

  • Minnesota coach Brad Childress is scheduled to speak to the media Thursday morning at the team's previously-scheduled OTA, notes Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. I'll be in attendance.

  • A troublesome hamstring injury forced Green Bay linebacker Clay Matthews to drop out of the Packers' OTA practice Wednesday, notes Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Matthews' injury continues to give Jeremy Thompson a chance to practice with the Packers' first team at right outside linebacker, writes Lori Nickel of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Coach Mike McCarthy: "He's as natural of an athlete that you'll see out there at that position as far as dropping and doing all the different things."

  • Free-agent safety Anthony Smith has been working with the first team in place of the injured Atari Bigby, writes Chris Jenkins of the Associated Press.

  • Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com doesn't think that Detroit defensive lineman Landon Cohen fits into the Lions' new scheme.