BOURBONNAIS, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears had been on the practice field for less than an hour Wednesday when new coach Lovie Smith saw four-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Urlacher crumple to the ground.
Urlacher stumbled out of a scrimmage drill and fell to the
ground with an injury to his right hamstring. Trainers wrapped his
leg with an ice pack and took him off the field on a golf cart.
"He's got a pretty good pull," general manager Jerry Angelo
The Bears offered no update on the linebacker after practice Thursday. Angelo and Smith weren't optimistic Wednesday that he would be able to return soon.
"Hamstrings, they need rest," Smith said after the 90-minute
practice at the team's Olivet Nazarene University training base.
"He'll have to sit out, which he won't like. It's going to be
The Bears were practicing in shorts and helmets Wednesday and the scrimmage was light contact only. Urlacher went down after
colliding with another player.
Second-year player Hunter Hillenmeyer and rookie Jeremy Cain will get plenty of work with Urlacher out, Smith said. If the
injury persists deep into training camp, second-year linebacker
Lance Briggs, who started 13 games and had 81 tackles as a rookie,
could be shifted into Urlacher's middle linebacker role, the coach
"We've talked about developing our depth at the linebacker
position," Smith said. "We're going to have to do it a little
quicker than we wanted to."
Smith acknowledged he was nervous beginning his first training camp as an NFL head coach, but said he was reasonably happy with the first practice.
"We kind of set a bar, that's what you want to do as much as
anything, set the bar," he said. "Tomorrow morning, we'll be in
pads and the intensity will pick up quite a bit."
Quarterback Rex Grossman, expected to be the starter, was among those trying to work out early kinks. He threw several passes at his receivers' feet.
"It's going to take a little bit of time to get the rhythm of
it," he said.
Harris, who won the Lombardi Trophy at Oklahoma last year as the nation's top interior lineman, agreed to a five-year deal.
Financial terms weren't disclosed.
"He's our first-round pick, he's a big part of what we're going
to do this year," Smith said. "We're very excited about getting
The 6-3, 300-pound defensive tackle was expected at camp
Thursday. Harris was a first-team All-American as a sophomore and
junior, logging nine sacks and 33 tackles in those two seasons. He
left college early to enter the NFL draft.
Berrian, a wide receiver from Fresno State, agreed to a
four-year deal. The two-time All-American holds the school record
at Fresno State with 5,828 career all-purpose yards.