- Michael C. Wright, ESPN Staff Writer
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Like last week's decision to pull MLB Brian Urlacher in the second half of the team's victory over the Indianapolis Colts, Bears coach Lovie Smith must make the same call again with CB Charles Tillman added to the mix.
Tillman suffered a shin injury against the Colts and didn't play the majority of the game. Given his toughness, it's unlikely Tillman misses Thursday night considering the importance of it, not to mention the fact the Bears get plenty of time off after this outing. So in this situation -- if Tillman plays -- Smith will monitor the corner's snaps closely, and make a judgment call as to how long he stays in the lineup.
Smith knows he's got a capable replacement for Tillman in Kelvin Hayden, but the team is better equipped to deal with Green Bay's dangerous receiving corps with Tillman in the mix. But would playing Tillman for an extended period worsen the injury and affect the corner's long-term prospects?
As for Urlacher, he definitely wasn't thrilled about Smith pulling him early in the second half against the Colts. But he understands why Smith did it.
In a big game like Thursday night's, Smith can't let the hoopla of facing Green Bay and the coming off days cloud his judgment, which could result in Urlacher suffering a setback that could affect his availability in the future.
Again, Smith has a couple of tough decisions to make this week. Our guess is he'll err on the side of caution.