When the Chicago Bears host the Green Bay Packers Sunday with the NFC North on the line, linebacker Brian Urlacher will not be playing. The 13-year veteran hurt his hamstring during a Week 13 loss to Seattle, and he is likely to miss the team’s next few games.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers enjoys competing against the best players, so he said he was disappointed Urlacher would not be playing.
“I am disappointed; I like him being out there. I enjoy the competition with him; it’s a competitive rivalry that exists between our teams and between him and I individually,” Rodgers said on his weekly ESPN radio show. “I think he plays the game hard within the rules and he’s a heck of a competitor, who has picked me off a couple too many times. I wish him the best and hope he gets healthy. He has been playing really well this year, that’s impressive to see because he has been around for a while.”
Rodgers’ remarks came as no surprise; he said last year he loved playing against Urlacher.
Rodgers’ tight end, Jermichael Finley, feels differently. He thinks Urlacher’s absence might help Chicago.
“Urlacher is at the end of his career right now; he’s playing a little slow out there,” Finley told FOX Sports Wisconsin on Wednesday. “I don’t think they’re losing too much if he’s out. Putting another guy in might help them a little.”
Finley tried on Thursday to retreat from his inflammatory comments about Urlacher.
“Urlacher is a hall of fame player and person. I meant no disrespect to him in previous comments, I was simply trying to explain that his replacement in the lineup is a good player as well. his replacement in the lineup is a good player as well” Finley wrote on Twitter.
Urlacher heard about Finley’s remarks and hit him back with a strong blast later in the day.
“Just like a couple of years ago, I think, he tore his ACL and the Packers were actually better without him. You know, they won the Super Bowl,” Urlacher told SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Movin’ the Chains. “I hope we can duplicate that as well because it won’t hurt my feelings if we go on and win the Super Bowl without me like they did without him.
“People can say what they want. It feels like I deal with something like this every year. Someone’s always saying something about me.”
Urlacher said it doesn’t bother him when people talk trash about him, but he is bothered when others disparage his teammates.
“That pisses me off,” Urlacher told SiriusXM. “It’s like your kids. It’s OK to be talking about me or whatever but don’t talk about my kids or my family.
“I can deal with the criticism of myself. I get mad when people talk about my teammates.”
Linebacker Lance Briggs also came to Urlacher’s defense, calling Finley an “idiot.”
Let’s review things for a second: We’ve got Brandon Marshall saying he really doesn’t like the Packers, Lance Briggs calling Jermichael Finley an idiot, and Finley saying the Bears are better without Urlacher.
When does this game start again? Oh yeah, 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX. Can’t wait.
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