Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith did something to Brian Urlacher that no coach has ever done before. He benched him.
Smith took Urlacher out of Sunday's win against the Indianapolis Colts with 10:02 remaining in the third quarter and told the middle linebacker he wouldn't return to the game. The Bears led by 20 points at the time. They have a more important game this Thursday against the Green Bay Packers on NFL Network.
"I do what he says," Urlacher said in reference to Smith, via ESPNChicago.com.
That's exactly the type of reaction Smith expected. And we credit Smith for making a call like that when the Bears have such a quick turnaround. Urlacher missed all of the preseason with a knee injury. He made two tackles in his return to action and felt fine.
"Brian wanted to play the entire game," Smith said. "When we told him he was coming out it's not like he told us that was a great idea. He knows that there's a big picture. We wanted to get him a little bit of work. It's his first action. It's like in a preseason game; you're not going to let a guy go that entire time unless you have to, and we didn't have to today."
"That was a changeup," said Urlacher. "No, I don't like coming out of the game. But that's the head coach. I do what he says."@greggrosenthal.