Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Urlacher would (still) lie to cover up concussion

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Brian Urlacher wasn't backing down. Chicago's star linebacker would still lie to cover up a concussion.

Urlacher raised a few more eyebrows on Thursday when he reiterated what he told HBO earlier in the year, and it didn't seem to matter to him Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is recovering from that same injury.

His stance remains the same.

"Yeah," he said when asked if he would lie to cover up a concussion.

Coach Lovie Smith wasn't quite sure how to respond to a question about Urlacher's comment.

"I don't think players will cover up an injury, so that's what I make of it," Smith said. "I didn't hear Brian say that, so I don't know exactly what you're talking about. I just know when Brian has been injured, when he hurt his knee he came out, and every other injury I assume he's had he's come out. That's what I'm going with."

Urlacher acknowledged it would be tough to cover up a concussion while questioning whether newer helmets really were cutting down on such injuries, and he added that the NFL needs to do a better job protecting players from knee injuries.

He said there are points in most games where a player is woozy from a hit, where "you're like, whoa, that was a good one."

But, he also said: "I don't know how you can lie these days with all the (stuff) they have to see who's concussed and who's not. I don't know how they can tell in the first place. I think the helmets aren't very good. I wear an old helmet and Lance (Briggs) wears an old helmet. We don't get concussed. We have some pretty good collisions, we don't get concussed. I think a lot of it has to do with the helmets. They're saying they're better but they must not be because people are getting more concussions now."

Urlacher said he suffered a concussion in 2003 but didn't miss any games.

"I've been lucky," he said.

Cutler wasn't so fortunate on Sunday. The Bears believe he suffered his concussion when Houston's Tim Dobbins nailed him with a helmet-to-helmet hit that forced him to miss the final two quarters.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 16, 2012 C6

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