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Tuesday, December 29, 2009
"Flexibility" the watchword for Bears' secondary

By JEFF DICKERSON

The secondary took a major hit Monday night -- Charles Tillman and Danieal Manning had to make early exits due to injury -- and it sounds like the defensive backfield will again be in flux when the Bears wrap up the season this weekend in Detroit.

Cracked ribs and a bruised lung will obviously force Tillman to miss the Lions game, and it sounds like a calf injury will also end Manning's season prematurely. Although Manning wants to suit up at Ford Field, the odds of that happening are slim after the defensive back/return man had his calf drained of fluid Tuesday according to a league source.

Corey Graham is expected to start in place of Tillman at cornerback, and is a logical candidate to slide inside to nickel back in obvious passing situations. Nathan Vasher played corner in the nickel package after Manning exited the Vikings victory in the second half.

Rookie receiver Johnny Knox actually twisted both ankles Monday night, but the left ankle injury was far more severe, and is being called a bad sprain. Knox is not expected to face Detroit.

Defensive lineman Israel Idonije is questionable with a left foot sprain.