Two weeks ago, Bears coach Lovie Smith said he fully expected Brian Urlacher to be on the field when training camp begins in Bourbonnais on July 25.
Urlacher told the Chicago Tribune he'll be back "for sure" after missing offseason workouts and minicamp recovering from a sprained MCL and PCL in his left knee on Jan. 2 at Minnesota.
"I could have participated in minicamp, but there was no reason to," Urlacher said.
Urlacher, 34, likely won't practice more than three straight days and will be rested on days with dual practice. Smith is typically player-friendly when it comes to monitoring and adjusting the team's overall camp schedule.
The Bears signed Geno Hayes, who started in Tampa Bay and is comfortable in multiple spots in the Cover-2 defense, but depth could be an issue with Urlacher and Pro Bowl weak-side linebacker Lance Briggs returning as the team's top two tacklers. An injury to either player would be damaging to a defense with several standouts -- defensive end Julius Peppers and cornerback Charles Tillman included -- over the age of 30.