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Urlacher leaves Bears to be with family after mother’s passing

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by GRENDEL, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. GRENDEL

    GRENDEL Contributing Member

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    Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher(notes) has left the Chicago Bears for an open-ended period of time to be with his family following the unexpected passing of his mother, 51-year-old Lavoyda Lenard. Mrs. Lenard passed away on Monday, according to a statement released by the team.

    No other information has been given as to the reason for her passing, and Lt. Brent Smith of the Titus County (Texas) Sheriff's Office told reporters that there was no evidence of foul play.

    In a 2002 piece for ESPN Magazine, Urlacher called his mother "my heart."

    "My mother, Lavoyda, unexpectedly passed away Monday at her home in Texas," Urlacher said in a statement released by the team. "My first priority right now is to be with my family as we mourn her loss and make the arrangements to lay her to rest," Urlacher said in a team-released statement. "This is a very difficult and emotional time for us and I sincerely ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you."

    The Bears are obviously prepared to be understanding if Urlacher can't play, but they also know his value on the field. The team travels to New Orleans to play the Saints this Sunday afternoon.

    "That's going to be tough for our football team (if Urlacher doesn't play Sunday)," Bears receiver Roy Williams told ESPN Chicago. "Whoever takes his spot (if necessary) will play well. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. He is the emotional leader of the football team, so we have his back."

    Defensive end Israel Idonije(notes) agreed. "Our hearts are with him," Idonije said. "It's one of those times that you can't imagine, and 100 percent of our support is with him. At the end of the day, family and life comes first."

    Bears quarterback Jay Cutler(notes) talked about what Urlacher meant to a team that is 21-13 with Urlacher in the lineup, and 7-8 without him since 2008. "You can't replace a guy like him," Cutler said. "He's the heart and soul of this team."

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/blog/sh...ars-to-be-with-family-after-mo?urn=nfl-wp7110

    Really sad and sudden news, can't imagine what he's going through....
     

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