Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, who is currently dealing with knee and groin injuries, did not practice today. He’s listed as day-to-day.
“[Tillman] didn’t work today,” said coach Marc Trestman. “He was on the side and in the training room. He was in early this morning. He’ll be day-to-day.”
Despite his status, Tillman told the Detroit media today he’ll be ready to go on Sunday when the Bears take on the Lions.
“I’ll be there,” Tillman said.
If Tillman somehow ends up sitting against Detroit, it will be a major blow to Chicago’s defense, who face the best receiver in the league this week in Calvin Johnson. In the past, Tillman has been tasked with shadowing Johnson, with relatively good results. In two meetings against the Lions last year, Tillman held Megatron to just 8 total catches for 106 yards and no touchdowns.
“He’s a big corner. He’s a big strong physical corner. He’s smart. He’s seen a lot of football, so he understands some of the concepts probably that we do on offense,” Johnson said today. “He’s one of the top corners in the league. He definitely does it well, and he’s been a consistent player for a long time.”
If Tillman can’t go, the Bears will turn to Zack Bowman as the starter at wide corner. Bowman hasn’t started a game since Week 15 in 2010, when he was torched for three touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. Bowman was limited in practice today with a knee injury.
"We need 11 guys on the same page every play to have a chance to contain [Johnson],” said coordinator Mel Tucker. “Whatever the coverage is, whatever the rush is, we can't leave it up to one guy. We can't be just one technique. He's a guy that's a game-wrecker and it's going to be all hands on deck to try to contain him in some type of way. That's a huge challenge.”
Also out for practice today was cornerback Sherrick McManis, who has a quad injury.
“It’s his quad,” Trestman said. “He was in for treatment on Monday and Tuesday and we’re optimistic, but it will be day-to-day. [Tillman and McManis] will both do a little bit more tomorrow.”
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his third season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.