Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has confirmed reports that he could miss the rest of the regular season because of a hamstring injury but was hopeful he could make it back to help his team in their playoff drive.
The eight-time Pro Bowler, injured during Sunday's overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, told FOX TV in Chicago on Tuesday that doctors said he could be out two to four weeks but would definitely be able to return in January for any playoff games.
Sources told the Chicago Tribune that Urlacher would not play for at least the next three games.
The Bears, who have four regular season games remaining, have not made any official comment.
Chicago currently hold a wildcard spot and would be the fifth seed playing against the fourth-seeded and NFC East-leading Giants.
The wildcard playoff round is scheduled for January 5-6.
Urlacher is in the final year of his contract, leading to speculation that he could have played his last down in the Windy City should the injury persist.
"I do not think that's going to happen," he told the TV station. "But if it does, I have had a really good and long career so I would be sad, but I would not be crushed."
The 34-year-old Urlacher, who has played all 13 of his NFL seasons with the Bears, said he was "100 percent" sure he would play in a potential playoff game.
The Bears have gone 7-15 without Urlacher on the field since he came up in 2000.
With Urlacher on the sidelines, Nick Roach figures to move from strong side to middle linebacker with Geno Hayes likely starting at strong side linebacker.
The Bears also signed linebacker Dom DeCicco to a two-year deal on Tuesday to add depth at the position.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)