Sunday, September 29, 2013
Tillman to play against Lions
By Michael C. Wright
DETROIT -- The Chicago Bears released their list of inactives for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field, and as expected, cornerback Charles Tillman wasn’t on it, which means he’ll try to play despite nagging knee and groin injuries.
Tillman practice missed time in the week leading up to the team’s 40-23 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 22, and also sat out of two workout sessions on Wednesday and Thursday heading into the matchup against the Lions.
Other inactives include receivers Marquess Wilson and Joe Anderson, cornerback Sherrick McManis (quadriceps), offensive tackles James Brown and Jonathan Scott, defensive end David Bass and defensive tackle Zach Minter, who was expected to take on a more significant role with the team placing starting defensive tackle Henry Melton recently on the injured reserve.
Provided Tillman can play effectively, the Bears should benefit from the cornerback’s presence. In the past six meetings between these teams, Lions receiver Calvin Johnson has produced only one 100-yard outing against the Bears (Oct. 10, 2011), while scoring just two touchdowns with Tillman as the primary defender covering him.
Johnson averages 4.5 receptions per game against the Bears since 2010 for an average of 71.3 yards. Tillman, meanwhile, has racked up 37 tackles, broken up eight passes and intercepted two in addition to forcing two fumbles in his last six games against the LIons.
With Tillman banged up, how long he’ll be able to play comes into the equation, and more importantly, whether he can be effective enough to slow down Johnson.