Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFL [Print without images]

Thursday, October 2, 2008
Updated: October 3, 2:19 PM ET
Bears' Harris suspended for Sunday's game vs. Lions

ESPN.com news services

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Bears suspended defensive tackle Tommie Harris for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions.

Coach Lovie Smith said Thursday that Harris broke a team rule, but he didn't immediately explain what it was. Harris was suspended for missing scheduled treatments for his injured knee and for not being forthcoming with Smith about the reason, a team source told ESPN.com's Michael Smith.

"He'll continue to rehab but won't practice with the football team this week," Lovie Smith said. "Monday he'll be back with the team, hopefully ready to go and I'll kind of go from there."

Harris didn't play over the weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles due to a knee injury. But the three-time Pro Bowler had been expected to play in Detroit. Harris will be replaced by Israel Idonije, with defensive tackle Anthony Adams also getting playing time.

Smith said he met Thursday with Harris and told him of the suspension. Harris was not available for comment.
Bears Send Message Insider
Management felt some of the players who recently signed extensions weren't playing as hard as they would have liked. By singling out Tommie Harris with the suspension, the Bears confirmed that they haven't been happy with some of the more affluent core players on the team. Quick Hits Insider
"It's always disappointing when you have to suspend one of your players, but nothing's bigger than the team, so we'll kind of move on from there," Smith said.

"Injuries happen, players don't play from time to time, you have to move on," he said. "We played last week without Tommie, so we've been in that situation before."

Harris received a $40 million contract extension before the season. Smith wouldn't say whether Harris will be paid through the suspension, but Harris will be allowed to continue rehabbing his knee this week at Halas Hall.

Smith said Harris' large contract did not make the situation more disappointing.

"No, it's disappointing, period, no matter how much money someone is making," he said. "It's disappointing when you have to suspend a player on your football team, period."

The Bears practiced without injured cornerbacks Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Nate Vasher (wrist) for the second straight day.

Without their top coverage corners, the Bears' defense will need a better pass rush, but Harris has always been their best inside pass-rusher. He has two tackles and no sacks this season while struggling with the sore knee.

"We need to get pressure, whether it be through blitz or the front four," defensive coordinator Bob Babich said. "We need to get pressure on the quarterback for our defense to perform."

The Bears also practiced without wide receivers Marty Booker and Brandon Lloyd due to knee injuries for the second straight day.

ESPN.com's Michael Smith and The Associated Press contributed to this report.