Urlacher pledges he will be fine after calf injury

CHICAGO--Brian Urlacher couldn’t make it past the second quarter of the season opener last September for the Chicago Bears.

In the second preseason game Saturday night at Soldier Field, he couldn’t get past the first four plays from scrimmage against the Oakland Raiders. Urlacher was sidelined with what the team called a “minor left calf strain,” and stood on the sideline for the remainder of the first half with ice on the back of his leg.

That the issue isn’t serious is a major relief for a team that lost him to a freak hand injury at Lambeau Field in 2009.

“On like the third play, I was running and I felt like a cramp,'' Urlacher told Vaughn McClure of the Chicago Tribune. “Then on the next play, I couldn't put pressure on it. Then I was out.

"I had a similar-type injury (in 2007) on a Tuesday, and I ended up playing that Thursday (at Washington). I'm not going to speculate on how long, but I'll be fine.''

Urlacher was fully healthy during training camp and the wrist has not been an issue. He dealt with hamstring and calf injuries in 2004 when he missed seven games. This isn’t expected to be an issue that will carry into the regular season. The incident might, however, bolster the chances reserve linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer has of making the roster. Hillenmeyer, who is due to earn a base salary of $1.7 million this season, is the only linebacker on the roster with experience playing in the middle of Lovie Smith’s defense.

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