Hell have all offseason to get over coach Lovie Smith reported as a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. But Brian Urlacher is someone whose pain was immediately shared on Sunday.
Urlacher suffered the knee injury going up with safety Major Wright and cornerback D.J. Moore to break up a pass in the Bears end zone. He did but had his left leg awkwardly splayed outward as he came down and spent quite some anxious minutes on the ground in obvious pain.
I went up after the ball and landed on top of him, Moore said. After that Im not too sure what happened.
What definitely happened was one of the NFLs loudest venues going near-silent as Urlacher lay on the turf. You could have heard a in drop in the Stadium, said center Roberto Garza. Even Vikings fans were praying for Brian.
Urlacher eventually was able to stand and walk off the field, pausing long enough for high-energy fist pumps when a Minnesota field goal try was botched. Training staff members got him back walking for aid and he eventually left the field with an ice bag on his left knee, to standing ovations from the Metrodome crowd.
For coach Lovie Smith, the blow was just the latest in a season fraught with them.
I am concerned, Smith said. Whenever you dont finish the game, there is concern but hopefully he will be OK. We will do everything we can to evaluate him and hopefully we will have good news.
The Bears were not at their best against the New England Patriots on Sunday. They made plenty of mistakes on all three phases and gave Tom Brady too many opportunities to control the game.
It wasn’t all bad from Chicago, though. Trey Burton emerged as a new favorite weapon of Mitchell Trubisky, and the tight end was the Bears’ highest-graded player in the game by Pro Football Focus.
Burton had a career high 11 targets, nine catches and 126 yards with a touchdown, giving Trubisky a 144.7 passer rating when targeting his top tight end.
Seven of Burton’s targets and six of his catches traveled 10 or more yards in the air, according to PFF.
Defensively, safety Adrian Amos led the pack with a 74.6 overall grade. He did not miss a tackle after missing a career-high five last week, and he allowed only one catch for eight yards against the Patriots.
On the bottom of the scale, outside linebacker Leonard Floyd received the second-lowest grade of his career (38.9 overall) for his performance. He did not record any pressure on the quarterback in 13 pass rushing snaps, and he allowed two catches for 13 yards and a touchdown in coverage against running back James White.
Wide receiver Allen Robinson had a career-low grade as well at 44.9 overall. He was clearly limited by his groin injury, targeted five times with one catch for four yards and a dropped pass.
Overall, the Bears were able to stick with one of the top teams in the AFC while also leaving a lot of room for improvement. It’s a step in the right direction from where Chicago was in recent seasons.
Take a look over the NFC landscape and try to find me a team that can compete with the Rams.
Packers? Held back by Rodgers' knee and Rodgers' coach. Saints? Might not even win their own division. Washington? Does Alex Smith really scare anyone in the playoffs?
The Rams have one of the easier paths to the Championship Round/Super Bowl that we've seen in some time. Will it likely stay that way? Probably not. But there's a difference between parity and mediocrity and right now the NFC is toeing the line HARD.
Outside the NFC's "elite", how did your team do this week?
You can take a look here and see where they landed.