The (heavy) heart of Bears' defense

Brian Urlacher will play through grief, lead Bears in a tough matchup versus Saints

Updated: September 16, 2011, 12:33 AM ET
By Jon Greenberg | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brian Urlacher returned to Chicago Bears practice Thursday, taking his status as civic ubermensch to a new level.

The consummate linebacker in the city of linebackers, Urlacher's legend as the strong, silent, man's man grew even stronger as he perseveres through tragedy following the sudden loss of his mother. His pain is universal.

The funeral for Urlacher's mother, Lavoyda Lenard, is Saturday in Lovington, N.M. No. 54 will start at middle linebacker against ...

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