Updated Sept. 14, 2011 at 1:15 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher will be away from the Bears for several days after the unexpected death of his mother.

“My mother, Lavoyda, unexpectedly passed away Monday at her home in Texas,” Urlacher said in a statement 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. This is a very difficult and emotional time for us and I sincerely ask that you respect our privacy. Thank you.”

Urlacher has been away from the team since it happened and it is unclear whether or not the linebacker will play against the Saints Sunday.

Lavoyda Urlacher raised Brian, his brother, Casey, and his older sister, Sheri, in Lovington, N.M., and remained close to the family as Urlacher NFL career took off with the Bears.

Lt. Brent Smith of the Titus County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office said Urlacher’s mother apparently died of natural causes. She lived in Mount Pleasant, Texas, about 110 miles east of Dallas.

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