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Bears LB Urlacher playing with arthritis in back

CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher all but
confirmed an Internet report that he has an arthritic back after a
subpar performance in Sunday's 16-7 loss to the Detroit Lions.

Urlacher was credited with just four tackles on Sunday, another
poor performance in an inconsistent season for him.

The six-time Pro Bowl selection told foxsports.com that his back
has been bothering him since training camp and that he recently had
a specialist in Pittsburgh examine it.

"He confirmed what the team told me, that they think it's an
arthritis type of thing," Urlacher was quoted as saying in a story
posted Sunday afternoon. "The thing that's so frustrating is there
is no clear-cut solution to give me relief. I just have to deal
with the pain."

Asked if that report was accurate, Urlacher said "probably,"
but had little else to say after the game other than he will answer
fans' questions on foxsports.com. It was not clear when he will do
that.

The Bears would not confirm the report.

Urlacher, who has been inconsistent this season, has said little
to reporters in recent weeks, often limiting his responses to one
or two words. He had 15 tackles in the season opener at San Diego
and 13 last week at Philadelphia. But he had just five against
Minnesota on Oct. 14 and three against Dallas in Week 3, although
he contributed two sacks in that game.

"As far as what I know about Brian, he played today, he's not
on the injury list," coach Lovie Smith said. "As far as his back,
there's nothing wrong with his back that would cause him not to be
able to play."