- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Finally healthy after two years, Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher launched his regular season by making a run at Aaron Rodgers, lowering his shoulder and plowing over the Packers quarterback in the first quarter.

His 10th season was off to a good start. And then, it was over.

Chicago’s star linebacker went on injured reserve after having surgery Monday to repair a dislocated right wrist and will not be back this season, a major blow for a team with high expectations.

There was no immediate word from Urlacher other than a text message to the Chicago Tribune that said simply: “season is over.” But coach Lovie Smith said Urlacher clearly was disappointed.

“He had put himself in position to have an outstanding year,” Smith said. “He was playing well in the game before he went down with the injury. Even after the injury to his hand, the competitor in him wanted to continue to play. It’s a tough break. There’s no way around it, but he’s been injured before, and he’s come back before.”

EAGLES: Coach Andy Reid confirmed the team agreed to terms with quarterback Jeff Garcia, a 10-year veteran who played for Philadelphia in 2006 and went 6-2 in eight starts - including the playoffs - while Donovan McNabb was injured.

The team needed a backup quarterback in case McNabb, who suffered a broken rib in Philadelphia’s 38-10 win over Carolina in the season opener, is not able to play this week against the New Orleans Saints.

Third-year pro Kevin Kolb filled in for McNabb and will start this week if McNabb is out, Reid said.

PANTHERS: Carolina agreed to terms with veteran quarterback A.J. Feeley and placed backup Josh McCown on injured reserve.

The move comes one day after McCown injured his left knee and ankle in a loss to Philadelphia in relief of struggling starter Jake Delhomme.

JAGUARS: Defensive end Reggie Hayward will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left shin.

Hayward, a team captain who restructured his contract in the offseason, broke his fibula on a fourth-down play Sunday at Indianapolis.

STEELERS: Safety Troy Polamalu doesn’t need knee surgery and said “the best case scenario” is that he will be back in three to six weeks as expected.

Polamalu tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in Thursday’s win over Tennessee.

COLTS: Coach Jim Caldwell declined to elaborate on the severity of Anthony Gonzalez’s right knee injury or say how much time the third-year receiver may miss - even though Indianapolis is clearly discussing its options if Gonzalez is out for a prolonged time.

Gonzalez hurt the knee Sunday on a play in which he crumpled to the ground without touching another player.

BRONCOS: Denver linebacker Spencer Larsen will miss a few weeks after injuring his shoulder in a fall in the locker room at Cincinnati.

Coach Josh McDaniels said Larsen slipped on a slick surface and injured a shoulder while trying to break his fall.

HEALTH: Three NFL players announced they will donate their brains and spinal cord tissue to a Boston University medical school program that studies sports brain injuries.

Center Matt Birk of the Baltimore Ravens, linebacker Lofa Tatupu of the Seattle Seahawks and receiver Sean Morey of the Arizona Cardinals are the first active players to do so although dozens of former players have donated their brains to science.

The goal of the university’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy is to better understand the long-term effects of repeated concussions.

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