Brian Urlacher can only look on as the Bears go through the final stages of the 2012 season without him. The Bears have not consigned him to injured reserve, an indication that his injured hamstring could heal enough for him to play in the postseason.
Beyond that, he wont make any decisions about his future and return from the hamstring injury that put him down in the loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
It feels better every day, Urlacher told former teammate and Comcast SportsNet analyst Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan on their Sirius XM Radio Movin the Chains show on Thursday. I keep doing my rehab and doing what Im toldand trying to coach as much as I can when Im on the field at practice.
Urlacher is not thinking that he may have played in his last Bears-Packers game.
Ill cross that bridge when I have to in the offseason, Urlacher said.
That bridge may be tied to the fate of coach Lovie Smith.
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If it comes to pass that Smiths Chicago coaching tenure is brought to a premature end after this season (with one year remaining on his current contract), the organization may need to be prepared for certain ripple effects.
All or most of the staff infrastructure would go with Smith, beginning with coordinators Rod Marinelli and Mike Tice and likely extending through their staffs. Receivers coach Darryl Drake and running backs coach Tim Spencer were holdovers from the original Terry Shea group to Ron Turners staff into Mike Martzs and eventually Tice.
But a new head coach brings in new assistants. Buddy Ryan staying on as defensive coordinator from Neill Armstrong to Mike Ditka was an exception because Ryan had been hired by George Halas, not Armstrong.
Whether Urlacher fits into plans of a new head coach and defensive coordinator is one thing. Whether Urlacher wants to go through another system change at age 35 is another.
Smith has done a great job with our team, Urlacher said. We love playing for him.