Brian Urlacher out vs. Cardinals

Updated: August 26, 2010, 2:34 PM ET
By Michael C. Wright | ESPNChicago.com

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Chicago Bears middle linebacker Brian Urlacher will miss his fourth consecutive day of practice Thursday due to the strained left calf muscle he suffered in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders, and he won't play Saturday against the Arizona Cardinals.

Veteran Hunter Hillenmeyer will start in Urlacher's place against the Cardinals.

Urlacher did work out and run sprints for the Bears training staff on a side field on Thursday.

"Brian Urlacher is getting better, but he won't play this week," coach Lovie Smith said.

At this point, playing Urlacher in the preseason might not be worth the risk, given the fact he's already well-versed in the defensive scheme, not to mention his high value to the unit. Teams usually play their starters for only one series in the preseason finale.

So there's a chance Urlacher won't see action again until the opener.

Michael C. Wright covers the Bears for ESPNChicago.com. ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson contributed information to this story.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter