Three Chicago Bears starters missed practice today: WR Brandon Marshall (foot), DT Stephen Paea (toe) and CB Charles Tillman (knee/groin). S Anthony Walters also sat out.
TE Martellus Bennett (shoulder), CB Sherrick McManis (quad) and DE Julius Peppers (chest) were all limited.
“We held Brandon out with a foot [injury] today,” coach Marc Trestman said after practice. “Held Stephen out, Paea out with a toe; Charles with his groin situation; and Anthony Walters with a hamstring. We limited Martellus a little bit although he practiced most of it. We limited Sherrick and we limited Julius but we’re optimistic that we’ll see everybody on Sunday at this point in time.”
All are expected to play this Sunday, although how much Tillman plays is still up in the air. He suited up and started last week but wasn’t able to finish the game. Trestman said on Monday he expects a healthier Tillman against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.
“He was better [Monday] morning than he was a week ago at this time,” said Trestman. “I thought he played well for the time he was in there and we're optimistic that it's coming along. I talked to [athletic trainer] Chris Hanks this morning about it and he feels that we'll get a better Charles Tillman next week than we had this week and I thought he played well when he was in there.”
Bennett’s shoulder injury has also lingered for two weeks, forcing him to miss a number of snaps last week due to the pain and discomfort.
“You saw him go down again,” Trestman said. “We just want to take care of him a little bit while that thing is mending. He came out and he really worked hard at it. Now, I think he'll be much better this week. And we took a little bit of the edge off it this past week, but I think he'll be at full strength next week with it.”
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.