Black and Blue all over: Inspecting Bears DBs


Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

Monday, we noted the potential for a mismatch between Chicago’s injury-plagued pass defense and Green Bay’s locked-in passing game. ESPN Chicago’s Jeff Dickerson has some perspective on who might play where for the Bears, and let’s just say it won’t allay any fears.

Cornerback Charles Tillman gave himself a “50-50” chance of playing against the Packers after sitting out the summer while recovering from back surgery. I’m guessing that’s just a veteran playing coy, but it does serve as a reminder about where Tillman probably stands as far as conditioning and rustiness.

Dickerson also indicates that Kevin Payne and rookie Al Afalava are likely to be the starting safeties, with Danieal Manning (hamstring) playing in the nickel. Zack Bowman could start opposite Tillman at cornerback, joining Afalava in making his first NFL start.

The Bears’ unofficial depth chart lists Nate Vasher and Trumaine McBride as the starting cornerbacks. If that happens, writes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald, the Bears will lose by four touchdowns.

We’ll monitor the situation throughout the week. For now, let’s take a morning spin around the NFC North:

  • Bears tight end Desmond Clark is unhappy with the condition of the grass at Soldier Field, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel interprets the words of Packers coach Mike McCarthy to mean linebacker Nick Barnett (knee) will start Sunday night against the Bears.

  • Backup quarterback Matt Flynn (shoulder) resumed throwing Monday and said he will be ready to play, if needed, Sunday night, writes Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

  • Matthew Stafford’s unflappable nature is one reason why he was named Detroit’s starting quarterback, writes Nicholas J. Cotsonika of the Detroit Free Press.

  • Bob Wojnowski of the Detroit News on the Stafford decision: “I can't shriek that the Lions perpetrated a horrible injustice and Daunte Culpepper would have sprung the upset in the opener at New Orleans. But I wouldn't have done this, and it has nothing to do with Stafford's talent (immense) or his readiness (debatable). The Lions need one measly victory in a bad, bad way, and the experienced Culpepper gives them a better chance, period.”

  • Minnesota coach Brad Childress won’t say whether Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels will be the No. 2 quarterback Sunday at Cleveland, writes Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune.

  • The Vikings don’t know whether they’ll be facing Browns quarterback Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, notes my AFC North colleague James Walker.