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Brian Urlacher leaves Chicago Bears after death of his mother

September 14, 2011 |  2:39 pm

Brian Urlacher

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has left the team after his mother, Lavoyda, died unexpectedly at her home in Texas, the team said Wednesday.

"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 statement. "This is a very difficult and emotional time for us and I sincerely ask that you respect our privacy."

It is not known if Urlacher will be back in time for Sunday's game at New Orleans.

Urlacher had 10 tackles, an interception and a fumble return for a touchdown in Chicago's opening win over Atlanta.

"You can't replace a guy like that," Bears quarterback Jay Cutler said. "You can't find a guy like that in the league. He's the heart and soul of this organization. We all know he's going through a tough time right now, but we're going to respect his privacy and when he gets back we'll be here for him." 

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-- Houston Mitchell

Photo: Brian Urlacher. Credit: Charles Rex Arbogast / Associated Press.

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