Brian Urlacher to be held out Saturday night

Brian Urlacher missed 15 games last season for the Chicago Bears will be held out of the team’s third preseason game Saturday night against the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field.

Urlacher is being held out of practice this afternoon at Halas Hall for the fourth consecutive day with a left calf muscle pull. He came out of the team’s game vs. the Oakland Raiders last Saturday after the fourth play. The injury is not serious, though, and there is a chance Urlacher will push to test the leg next week in the preseason finale at Cleveland on Sept. 2.

“We would like for all of our guys to practice before they play, but if we feel like a guy is ready to go and he's one of our best guys [who] can help us win, we'll play him then,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said. “That isn't the case with Brian. Right now, (he) needs to practice. We're not playing (the opener vs.) Detroit (until Sept 12).”

Smith said earlier this week that he wasn’t planning to hold Urlacher out for the final two games just because he had tweaked his calf muscle. But there seems little point in letting Urlacher on the field against the Browns. Typically, Smith plays his starters for only one series in the final preseason game. Surely, it would be more prudent to let Urlacher test the leg the following week in practice.

Urlacher has said he feels fine. He will be replaced on Saturday by veteran Hunter Hillenmeyer.

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