A surprisingly large contingent of Chicago Bears players flew to Lovington, N.M., on Saturday for the funeral of linebacker Brian Urlacher’s 51-year-old mother Lavoyda Lenard, who died unexpectedly Monday at her home in Texas.
Team chairman George McCaskey, president Ted Phillips, general manager Jerry Angelo, coach Lovie Smith and linebackers’ coach Bob Babich were always expected to attend the service. But defensive end Julius Peppers hired a private plane to take him and a number of other teammates as well, the Chicago Sun-Times reported, citing a source.
A Bears spokesman told the Chicago Tribune that Urlacher’s teammates Chris Harris, Pat Mannelly, Anthony Adams, Charles Tillman and Israel Idonije were among those in attendance.
Urlacher spoke at the funeral, thanking his "two families" — his family and the Bears — a source told NFL.com.
The seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker had left Chicago on Tuesday to be with his family, before returning to the team’s practice facility Thursday.
He is expected to start Sunday against the Saints in New Orleans.