- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher remained a non-participant Monday at practice, along with four others, including starters Stephen Paea (ankle), Chris Conte (shoulder) and punter Adam Podlesh (hip).
Bears coach Lovie Smith continues to say the club’s injured players remain on pace to return for the season opener on Sept. 9 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Urlacher attended practice, but didn’t participate. The club also held out backup linebacker Dom DeCicco (groin).
Nearly a month has passed since Urlacher last took the field. Still recovering from sprained medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments sustained in the 2011 season finale at Minnesota, Urlacher hasn’t practiced since July 31.
Urlacher underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on Aug. 14.
Paea, meanwhile, suffered his ankle injury during the team’s first practice after the preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. But he isn’t expected to miss the regular-season opener. In fact, Paea likely is healthy enough to return to the lineup now, but considering the team typically keeps starters out of action during the preseason finale there’s a strong possibility the team would rather rest the second-year defensive tackle.
The Bears close out their preseason on Thursday against the Cleveland Browns.