Injuries and the Bears' secondary
Chicago cornerback Charles Tillman hasn't practiced because of back surgery. Free safety Danieal Manning was sidelined briefly by cramps. Cornerback Zack Bowman strained his hamstring Wednesday and isn't expected to practice Thursday night.
Although none of the injuries are believed serious, the cumulative result could set back the development of the Bears' secondary. In this blog entry, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago explores the domino effect created by absence of two of the team's top three cornerbacks.
In short, Trumaine McBride is now getting a chance to work with the first team at cornerback. Corey Graham and rookie D.J. Moore are also mixing into the rotation.
This isn't cause for panic. But it's worth keeping an eye on how long it takes for the Bears' primary lineup -- Tillman, Nate Vasher and Bowman at cornerback, Manning and Kevin Payne at safety -- to get on the field together.
It might not happen for several weeks. Tillman is expected to be ready for the regular season, but it's not clear whether it will be much earlier. Here's how general manager Jerry Angelo put it on the Bears' Web site:
"Unless something really freaky happens, Charles will be fine. When will he be fine from a football conditioning standpoint? That remains to be seen. He's doing pool work. He's doing a lot of cardiovascular work with our medical staff. But in terms of him healing and coming back from this, we feel very confident about that."