Urlacher speaks out on cut blocks

LB Brian Urlacher (Eric P. Mull/USP)

Defensive players get fined every week in the NFL for hits the league deems illegal, yet Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher wonders why offensive linemen aren't fined equally for cut blocks.

In last week's contest, Chicago Bears defensive end Israel Idonije was knocked out of the game for most of the second quarter with a sore ankle. The injury occurred on a run play against the Tennessee Titans, when an offensive lineman put a low block on Idonije while he was locked up with another lineman.

Because of the ankle injury, Idonije was a limited participant in practice yesterday. He's expected to play this week against the Houston Texans but it's unlikely he'll be 100 percent.

This comes a week after Bears safety Chris Conte was fined $21,000 for hitting Carolina Panthers receiver Brandon LaFell in the head in Week 8. The league said LaFell was "defenseless" as he fell forward trying to make the catch, at the moment Conte struck him. It was a questionable fine to say the least, compelling Brian Urlacher to question why offensive players are the only ones being protected by the league.

"The thing that makes me mad is the cut blocks," Urlacher said today. "Like last week, Izzy got hurt. He was engaged and a guy cut him. How's that legal? We can't hit in the head. We can't barely tackle anyone. A concussion, he might be out for a week or two. But if you lose your knee you're out for a season or maybe longer. It's very frustrating."

He says, though, that the fines won't change how the Bears play defense.

"I think what eliminates most of that stuff for us is we play hard," said Urlacher. "We get 11 guys to the football. The ball's coming out; we've got guys stripping the football. Usually when they come out, unless they go out of bounds we get them because we have so many guys going to the football."

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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.

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