Bears leadership is urging fans not to worry that Brian Urlacher emerged from surprise surgery on his knee Tuesday morning with a bloody stump where his lower leg used to be.
“Brian is our middle linebacker,” said coach Lovie Smith. “He has the heart of a lion and I don’t see how being an amputee is going to change that.”
New Bears GM Phil Emery echoed Smith’s sentiments.
“Despite the removal of the lower half of Brian’s left leg, we expect him to be on the field for opening day, and not just as some honorary captain or something stupid like that,” said the notoriously low-profile Emery. “I’ll stake my entire reputation on this, whatever reputation I might have.”
Urlacher showed up at practice Tuesday afternoon after the surgery, hobbled by a crutch and still trying to get used to balancing without the use of a leg. He spoke briefly to reporters, telling them he didn’t think the amputation will reduce the impact he’s been planning all summer to make on the field.
“I told you guys from day one that I’m going to be on the field Sept. 9 for the opener against the Colts,” said Urlacher. “Nothing about today’s limb removal surgery that we’ve been keeping secret from the outside world due to its seriousness changes that.”