Bears

Sick bay: Urlacher back at practicesort of

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Sick bay: Urlacher back at practicesort of

Brian Urlacher was back practicing in a helmet and pads on Friday for the first time since pulling a hamstring late in the Dec. 2 to loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Soldier Field. But his return to the middle linebacker spot this Sunday remains officially doubtful.

Urlacher sprinted away from questions with the requisite, Got to go get treatment, and that is still the case with an injury that has cost him three games already and has thrown his Chicago future under a cloud.

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He was able officially to practice on a limited basis, which is progress, said coach Lovie Smith. Were going to look at how he moved around Friday and see how he feels after today.

Urlacher and the Bears had hoped he would be able to take the field for what now is a make-or-break game against the Detroit Lions. But Urlacher did not take part in the light work on Wednesday or Thursday and although Smith said Urlacher is the level and type of player who would not need practice to be game-ready, a hamstring injury is susceptible to re-injury.

Running back Armando Allen remained out of practice with a knee injury and will not be ready for Detroit. Linebacker Blake Costanzo (calf) and safety Chris Conte (hamstring) also did not practice again and will miss the Lions.

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But running back Matt Forte, who employed a multitude of treatments including acupuncture to heal his sprained ankle, is expected to be full go for the Lions.

Same with Jonathan Scott, back starting at right tackle after missing the Arizona game with a hamstring injury.

The Detroit Lions practiced on Friday without wide receiver Calvin Johnson, resting ankle and knee pains. Johnson will play Sunday in his quest to get the last 108 yards he needs to post the NFLs first 2,000-yard receiving season.

Defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was given a veterans day off from work and defensive tackle Sammie Hill (foot) did not practice.

But tight end Brandon Pettigrew, who has missed the last two games with an ankle sprain, was able to get some practice time, as was safety Louis Delmas (knee).

How ‘spatula hands’ Adrian Amos is a perfect representation of the Bears’ defense 

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USA Today

How ‘spatula hands’ Adrian Amos is a perfect representation of the Bears’ defense 

Adrian Amos grew up a Ravens fan, and would go play football with his dad on a field in the shadow of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. So what was the best game of his career on Sunday — eight tackles and a 90-yard pick six — carried more meaning for the Bears’ safety. 

“This was a dream come true coming back to play in this stadium,” Amos said. “That’s a blessing in itself. Not a lot of people from Baltimore get the chance to do that, to be in this stadium.”

Amos played nearly 2,000 career snaps before recording his first NFL interception on Sunday, when he was in the right place to snag a ball Kyle Fuller — another Baltimore native who was outstanding against the Ravens — tipped pass. Amos always was regarded as a sure tackler who could be counted on to stick to his assignments, but for whatever reason he never was able to get himself an interception. 

“Sometimes, I call him ‘spatula hands’ because he doesn’t catch a lot of balls,” defensive end Akiem Hicks said. 

“Akiem’s always got the jokes,” Amos said. Hicks never actually called Amos “spatula hands” to his face, and after dropping that line to the media, he told Amos what he said (“He’s got jokes for everybody,” Amos added). 

Homecomings and jokes aside, Amos is playing his best football right now, and that’s been huge for a Bears defense that’s needed to replace plenty of key players before the halfway point of the season. Amos, who lost his job when the Bears added Quintin Demps and Eddie Jackson in the offseason, is starting in place of Demps, who broke his arm Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

“At that time, there was a guy playing better than him,” coach John Fox said of Amos losing his starting job in training camp. “And, at this time, he’s playing the best in the group. And that’s why he’s playing out there.”

Amos played a grand total of one defensive snap in Weeks 1 and 2, but has played every single defensive snap — as well as 26 special teams snaps — in the last two weeks. He had eight tackles against both Minnesota and Baltimore, and against the Ravens, he notched a tackle for a loss and two pass break-ups. 

This Bears defense showed in the first five weeks of the season to be a “fine” group, one that wouldn’t make many mistakes, but also wouldn’t make a lot of plays. That changed on Sunday, with Bryce Callahan picking off a pass, Christian Jones forcing a fumble and Amos notching an interception. 

Like the Bears defense this year, Amos was a solid player who hadn’t made a lot of big plays in his career. And like the Bears’ defense on Sunday, Amos finally made a critical play when it counted. 

“It’s just a mindset thing,” Amos said. “Just staying focused. Stay confident in my ability. Just keep working, being aggressive, just put my head down and work, that’s all I know.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Should the Bears let Mitch Trubisky throw more?

Adam Jahns (Chicago Sun-Times), Ben Finfer (ESPN 1000) and Jordan Cornette (The U/ESPN 1000) join Kap on the panel. Justin Turner hits a walk-off 3-run HR off of John Lackey to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the NLCS. So why was Lackey even in the game? How much blame should Joe Maddon get for the loss?

The Bears run the ball over and over and over again to beat the Ravens in overtime, but should they have let Mitch Trubisky throw the ball more?