Bears coach Lovie Smith said eight-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will be ready for the team's regular-season opener Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field.
Urlacher, recovering from sprained ligaments in his left knee he suffered in the season finale on Jan. 1 against the Vikings, has not practiced since July 31 -- that's 26 days ago and counting. He had arthroscopic surgery on the knee on Aug. 14.
Asked if Urlacher and punter Adam Podlesh -- who is recovering from a hip injury -- is on pace to be ready for the opener, Smith said, ''Yes, and they are making progress.
''Once you break training camp, the practices aren't as hard as they are down there, so you have the time to make some ground as far as the injuries are concerned. Guys are getting treatment, and yes, everyone is on pace the way we thought they would be.''