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Brian Urlacher injury: Nick Roach steps into spotlight for Bears

With Urlacher set to miss three weeks with a bad hammy, the sixth-year veteran from Northwestern gets his shot.

Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

After an injury-riddled 2009 campaign, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher retained a clean bill of health for much of the next three seasons. But a hamstring injury has derailed the likely future Hall of Famer for at least three weeks and possibly the rest of the season. Stepping in for No. 54 is six-year veteran Nick Roach, who will be sliding over from outside linebacker, where he has started 12 games for the Bears this season.

After signing with the Chargers in 2007 as an undrafted free agent, Roach was released and quickly picked up by Chicago. His workload previously peaked in 2009 when an injured Urlacher required the Northwestern product to start 15 games. After taking on a limited role in 2010, Roach established himself as the starting outside linebacker in 2011, a position he would only relinquish to become the Bears' defensive signal-caller.

The Bears head to the Metrodome to face division rival Minnesota on Sunday. Chicago is currently tied for first in the NFC North with the Packers at 8-4.