Chicago Bears star cornerback Charles Tillman is currently listed questionable on the injury report with a groin injury that he suffered late in last week’s victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. Tillman also went into that game against the Steelers as questionable on the team’s injury report, but he was suffering from a knee injury in Week 3. This week, Tillman is expected to play, and now the NFL Network’s Stacey Dales is reporting that Charles Tillman will play against the divisiona rival Detroit Lions tomorrow.
The Bears have traditionally done an excellent job of containing Lions star wideout Calvin Johnson, who is easily the game’s best wide receiver. It’s never an easy task to stop him, but they’ve been successful due to Tillman’s ability to shut down Johnson. However, Tillman stated earlier this week that he won’t be exclusively shadowing Johnson this week, which is a much different approach than in year’s past. The Bears will now need a team effort on defense in order to help contain Johnson, but they also need to make sure not to forget about Ryan Broyles and the other guys on the Lions offense. Teams like the Minnesota Vikings had to pay the price for keying in on Johnson too much, as Nate Burleson went off on them after they enabled him to do so. The Bears have lucked out with Burleson suffering from broken arm, but Broyles is definitely capable of doing some damage if left alone.
The reason why the Bears are not playing Charles Tillman on an island against Calvin Johnson despite past success has to be due to Tillman’s injury, because it probably isn’t ideal for a less than 100% healthy veteran corner to go one-on-one against Calvin Johnson. He will be playing tomorrow, per Dales, and this is in-line with the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs’s “bet”, as well as Marc Trestman’s statement that the Bears are optimistic of his chances at playing.