Lovie Smith says Brian Urlacher will practice next week

More than two weeks removed from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher remains sidelined.

But coach Lovie Smith said he expects to see the mainstay in his defense back on the field next week and the goal is for Urlacher to play in the season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 9. Urlacher has not practiced since July 31 and has not played in preseason.

The Bears have a walk-through today and will close out the exhibition portion of their schedule on Thursday at Cleveland. The team returns to practice Monday and that would presumably give Urlacher a week to knock off the rust before facing the Colts.

Brian is making a lot of progress," Smith said. "Just like we've said all along, I expect to see No. 54 out on the practice field next week and playing against the Colts.”

Urlacher had surgery on Aug. 14. He has declined to discuss reports in the Chicago Tribune that he sought alternative treatment for his knee in Germany during the offseason.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

Upcoming Games

Sep 19th, 4:05 PM

Minnesota +1.5 -111

Arizona -1.5 -111

@

Sep 19th, 4:05 PM

Atlanta +7 -111

Tampa Bay -7 -111

@

Sep 19th, 4:25 PM

Tennessee +4.5 -105

Seattle -4.5 -105

@

Sep 19th, 4:25 PM

Dallas +1 -111

LA Chargers -1 -111

@

Sep 19th, 8:20 PM

Kansas City -1 -111

Baltimore +1 -111

@

Sep 20th, 8:15 PM

Detroit +7 -111

Green Bay -7 -111

@

Sep 23rd, 8:20 PM

Carolina -4.5 -110

Houston +4.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Indianapolis +3 -115

Tennessee -3 -115

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

LA Chargers +7.5 -107

Kansas City -7.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Washington +7 -102

Buffalo -7 -102

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Chicago +8.5 -107

Cleveland -8.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Atlanta +2.5 -107

NY Giants -2.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Cincinnati +6.5 -107

Pittsburgh -6.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Baltimore -7.5 -110

Detroit +7.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

New Orleans +2.5 -110

New England -2.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 1:00 PM

Arizona -6 -110

Jacksonville +6 -110

@

Sep 26th, 4:05 PM

Miami +1 -107

Las Vegas -1 -107

@

Sep 26th, 4:05 PM

NY Jets +7.5 -107

Denver -7.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 4:25 PM

Tampa Bay +2.5 -110

LA Rams -2.5 -110

@

Sep 26th, 4:25 PM

Seattle -2.5 -107

Minnesota +2.5 -107

@

Sep 26th, 8:20 PM

Green Bay +3 -107

San Francisco -3 -107

@