Charles Tillman won't return this year

Updated: December 16, 2013, 6:21 PM ET
By Jeff Dickerson |

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, who has been sidelined with a triceps injury since last month, will not return for the playoffs if Chicago finds a way to qualify for the postseason, coach Marc Trestman said Monday.

Tillman was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after he tore his right triceps in the Bears' 21-19 loss to the Detroit Lions on Nov. 10.

[+] EnlargeCharles Tillman
Rob Grabowski/USA TODAY SportsCharles Tillman, who has sidelined since Nov. 10, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after this season.

A player on injured reserve with a designation to return is not eligible to return to practice for six weeks and game action for eight weeks, but the Bears originally believed Tillman could be back if the team made the playoffs.

"Tillman will be unavailable for the rest of the year," Trestman said. "He's not going to be available to practice for the rest of the regular season because he's not far enough in his recovery to do that."

Trestman refused to confirm whether Tillman had surgery to repair the torn triceps, although the veteran cornerback did not rule out the possibility of surgery when he met with reporters shortly after suffering the injury.

Tillman said at the time that he planned to seek a second opinion outside of the Bears' organization.

"That would be a privacy issue," Trestman said when asked if Tillman had surgery. "I can't discuss that. We've respected Charles' privacy on that matter."

Tillman, who turns 33 in February, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason. The 11-year veteran will make just over $8 million in 2013.

With Tillman injured, the Bears have started Zack Bowman at cornerback the past five weeks.

Bowman had two interceptions and a defensive touchdown in Sunday's 38-31 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Bowman and fellow starting cornerback Tim Jennings are in the final years of their respective contracts.

Jeff Dickerson | email

Chicago Bears beat reporter
Dickerson has been the Bears beat reporter for ESPN Chicago since 2004. He also hosts weeknight radio shows on ESPN 1000.


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