Bears LB Urlacher leaves team after mother's death

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Associated Press

Posted on September 14, 2011 at 12:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 14 at 1:31 PM

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has left the team following the death of his mother.

The team said Urlacher's mother, Lavoyda, died unexpectedly at her home in Texas. In a statement released by the Bears, Urlacher said his first priority right now is to be with his family during a difficult and emotional time.

It wasn't clear whether Urlacher will be back for practice or in time for Sunday's game at New Orleans. He missed Wednesday's practice.

Quarterback Jay Cutler called Urlacher the "heart and soul" of the team and said he is irreplaceable. Urlacher had 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble return for a touchdown in Chicago's opening win over Atlanta.

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