Brian Urlacher's injury not serious

Updated: August 24, 2010, 1:35 AM ET
By Jeff Dickerson | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher's left calf strain is not expected to sideline him for the start of the regular season.

"At the time he let me know it wasn't that serious," Bears coach Lovie Smith said after practice on Monday. "We need him, and he's had an outstanding camp. He's the face of the franchise, so we need him out there, and he will be."

Urlacher suffered the injury during the Oakland Raiders' opening series, a 10-play drive resulting in a 1-yard touchdown on a quarterback sneak by Jason Campbell.

"There was no question that he was going to be all right," Bears defensive end Israel Idonije said. "He's a tough guy and a fighter. He's fine. This is what he does, but people want to have a little drama when he went out. Everybody was a little nervous, but he's fine. He'll be great."

Veteran Hunter Hillenmeyer, who filled in at middle linebacker last season, took over for Urlacher early in the first quarter Saturday night, and led the team with seven tackles.

"Hunter understands the defense just as much as Brian does," Briggs said. "He'll get everyone aligned and he's going to play ball.

"[Hunter is] a great asset to the unit," Idonije added.

Jeff Dickerson covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

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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