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Brian Urlacher injury: Bears LB doubtful vs. Lions

Although Brian Urlacher practiced for the first time on Friday since a December 2 hamstring injury, he is still listed as doubtful for the Bears' game Sunday against Detroit. Chicago not only needs to win, but also needs Minnesota to lose for the Bears to clinch a playoff berth.

Jonathan Daniel

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher practiced for the first time in nearly a month on Friday, but entering a key game this weekend, Urlacher is still listed as doubtful. Urlacher hasn't played or practiced since suffering a Grade 2 hamstring injury in a December 2 loss to Seattle.

Here's what Bears head coach Lovie Smith told reporters on Friday, with his quote coming via ESPN Chicago:

"I was encouraged that he was finally able to get on the practice field," Smith said.

Smith later added:

"He's making the normal progress we had hoped he would make, he has made," Smith said.

It's a step in the right direction for Urlacher, but still not entirely good news for a Bears team which needs all the help it can in pursuit of a playoff berth.

As things stand, Chicago currently sits tied with Minnesota for the NFC's second wild card slot.

But because of tie-break rules, the Bears not only need to win at Detroit, but also need the Packers to beat Minnesota for Chicago to get into the playoffs.