Lovie Smith expects Brian Urlacher back soon

Brian Urlacher was excused from the Chicago Bears preseason opener Thursday night at Soldier Field.

While coach Lovie Smith would not shed any light on the matter, he did say the middle linebacker is expected to be back soon.

Urlacher has not practiced since July 31 because of a sore left knee, and he was excused from training camp at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill., for personal reasons beginning Monday. He has not been seen since.

“Everything is okay (with Urlacher),” Smith said told WBBM-AM 780 before the Bears 31-3 loss to the Denver Broncos. “He's still away for personal reasons. He'll be back soon.”

The Bears are off today and will return to practice on Saturday at ONU. Quarterback Jay Cutler was held out of the game too, a day after his son was born. He will likely be practicing too.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Upcoming Games