Brian Urlacher won't play vs. Lions

Updated: December 30, 2012, 12:51 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

DETROIT -- Despite doing limited work in practice on Friday, Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will not be active Sunday when the Bears face the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Urlacher has been out since he suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain on the second-to-last play of the Bears' overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 2.

The veteran middle linebacker is clearly making progress toward recovering from his injury, but Nick Roach will remain in the middle of the Bears' defense for a fourth consecutive game.

Urlacher could return next week if the Bears clinch a wild-card berth as the NFC's No. 6 seed, which could happen on Sunday with a win against the Lions, coupled with a Green Bay Packers victory over the Minnesota Vikings later in the afternoon.

Meantime, starting free safety Chris Conte (hamstring) and linebacker/special teams standout Blake Costanzo (calf) were ruled out on Friday, which means second-year safety Anthony Walters will make his first career NFL start in place of Conte in the Bears' defensive backfield.

Running back Harvey Unga will be active for the first time in NFL career after he got elevated to the active roster from the practice squad this week to provide depth in the club's banged up offensive backfield.

Armando Allen was questionable heading into Sunday's game but he is out with a knee injury he sustained last week in Arizona. Starting tailback Matt Forte is dealing with a sprained ankle but will play versus the Lions.

Also inactive for the Bears are: quarterback Josh McCown, defensive tackle Nate Collins and offensive tackle Cory Brandon.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.

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