Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is dealing with a devastating loss. It was reported yesterday that his mother, Lavoyda, passed away suddenly at her home in Texas. Urlacher left the team to be with his family but his stay at home was short-lived. This afternoon he was back at Halas Hall practicing with the team.
His teammates were a little surprised he was back so early but were happy to see him.
"It's a tough situation. I'm just glad he's back," LB Lance Briggs said.
Returning as early as he did isn't something many in the Bears locker room could have done themselves.
"Brian is a warrior," DT Henry Melton said. "I don't even know how I would handle losing a family member, let alone my mother. He's amazing for being back here already. I was surprised [to see him]."
After what was a very somber locker room yesterday, Urlacher's presence seemed to brighten everyone's mood.
"It's good to see him," DT Anthony Adams said. "He's in about as good of spirits as he can be. Everybody knows he's hurting. We're all grieving for him."
Getting back out on the football field may be a good thing for Urlacher, as it will provide him a temporary distraction from his recent loss, which very likely is the reason for his quick return.
"Football is the only sport where you can physically beat a man and not get taken to jail," Adams said. "You can let out all of your aggressions on somebody and just leave it all out on the field."
"It's good to see him back," Wootton said. "I think he's definitely going to be playing this one for his mom. I think he's going to have probably one of the best games of his career."
Newcomer Brandon Meriweather said he has been surprised and impressed with the way everyone on the team has rallied together through this tough time.
"Just the way the team genuinely loves each other, that surprises me more than anything," Meriweather said. "They take up for each other no matter what. They'll bend over backward for each other."
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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.