Urlacher doesn't show signs of being hurt

Lake Forest - Brian Urlacher's right hamstring has been an issue since training camp, but whether or not his left hamstring is now an issue remains to be seen.

The question of whether Urlacher now has a delicate left hamstring after missing all of the preseason and two regular-season games with a right hamstring injury was raised by Fox Sports.

Bears coach Lovie Smith didn't exactly clear up the matter.

"When you pull your hamstring you compensate by using the other a little bit more, and it normally gets sore, too," Smith said. "I think that's what happened with him. (But) we monitor what he did last week in practice. He didn't have any trouble."

Urlacher had two sacks Sunday night and appeared to play much faster than he did a week earlier.

"It looks like Brian has gotten into football shape," defensive coordinator Ron Rivera said. "Last week I told him he looked like he was playing tired, but he didn't look like that (Sunday night)."

--CB-KOR Jerry Azumah had his best day returning kicks since returning from August neck surgery three games ago. Azumah had returns of 73 yards and 42 yards.

--RB Anthony Thomas, who had two catches for four yards in the first six games, had four receptions for 46 yards on Sunday night, including a 30-yard screen pass.

--DE Israel Idonije, a first-year waived free agent, had the first sack of his NFL career.

--CB Nathan Vasher, a fourth-round draft pick, is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.

--QB Craig Krenzel's passer rating of 54.9 is the lowest on the team, but he is the team's starting quarterback for the foreseeable future.

GIANTS NOTES, QUOTES
--WLB Barrett Green came out of Sunday's game midway through the first quarter with a sprained ankle and knee. He did not play the rest of the game. Green, who pushed coach Tom Coughlin's envelope during the bye week by reporting two hours late for a meeting, paid the price last week vs. Detroit when he was relegated to special-teams duty only. Reserve Nick Greisen, normally the backup MLB, played and excelled. Then Coughlin announced that Green would be the starter in the base defense while Greisen would start in the nickel package formation.

--QB Kurt Warner was sacked five times, making it 11 sacks in the last two weeks. "Kurt is always looking to make a play, and sometimes he needs to get rid of the ball a little earlier," says coach Tom Coughlin. Warner admits to that and credits the O-line for playing far better than the high incidence of his sacks might indicate.

--FS Jack Brewer had a touch of deja vu in Minneapolis. The visiting team's locker room in the Metrodome is the same one used by the University of Minnesota when it plays its home games there -- and Brewer got the locker he used as a Gopher. "It was really neat to go through this," he said.

--C Wayne Lucier started in place of Shaun O'Hara (leg infection) but is normally a guard, hails from New Hampshire and has been a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. His first comment when asked his reaction to the victory: "Go Red Sox! Go Giants! What a week!"

--RB Tiki Barber had 101 yards in 24 carries, added a reception for 10 yards and increased his totals to 748 yards in 142 carries and 1,100 yards of total offense. "We are still evolving as an offense," he said. "It is very, very encouraging."

--LT Luke Petitgout on the continued improvement of the newly rebuilt O-line: "Getting that many points (34) is just awesome. The defense played great, gave us the ball in good position, and the offense scored when we should have. It was a team effort and a great feeling. Now I hope we're back on track after the loss last week."

--TE Jeremy Shockey had three receptions for 60 yards, and his TD catch was taken away when C Wayne Lucier was flagged for holding. But Shockey was more interested in talking about RB Tiki Barber: "He's an exciting guy to play with, and we are fortunate to have someone like him on the team. He's just incredible. It's always important for me to get my block because you never know when one of them is going to spring him all the way."


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