Lance Briggs would prefer fellow linebacker Brian Urlacher were on the field alongside him during training camp. But, Briggs suggested it was better for Urlacher to deal with the injury now, as opposed to later when the games actually count.
"He's a competitor, and in his heart, he wants to be out on the field, playing football with the rest of us. It really tears at him that he can't do that right now. But, it's a long season - a very long season - and we have 16 games to get into the playoffs, in order to get ourselves into a position to play in the Super Bowl and win the thing," Briggs said. "That's what we have to keep in perspective, what's most important."
Briggs and other players tried to maintain an optimistic look at Urlacher's left knee scope. The hope is that he will return in time for the Sept. 9 regular season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field. Briggs said the injury gives the players behind Urlacher quality reps and opportunities.
"Nick's done well, as good as anyone could do right now, with Brian being out. He's played the position before, and he's comfortable in the position," Briggs said. "I think from our defensive unit, he gets us all aligned and playing well and he's very stout and smart. He knows where he needs to be."
Briggs added that he doesn't feel any added pressure to step up his leadership, given Urlacher's role as the leader of the defense.
"I just need to be me. Whatever leadership comes along with me being me is what I'm going to do. We're already leaders," Briggs said. "We lead in our own way, and that's what we'll continue to do."