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Injury clouds Urlacher's Bears future

12/9/2012

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has a Grade 2 hamstring tear that usually sidelines players three to six weeks, but his injury clouds his short- and long-term future in Chicago.

Urlacher could return as early as next week, but if the injury does keep him out longer, his season -- and potentially even his NFL career -- could be over. One team source said it's not out of the realm of possibility that Urlacher, who turns 35 on May 25, could retire after this season, when his contract expires.

Urlacher and the Bears have not had any contract discussions. Even when negotiations resume, it's uncertain whether any Bears offer to the standout linebacker would be enticing enough to make Urlacher want to play his 14th NFL season.