Chicago Bears star cornerback Charles Tillman has traditionally shadowed Detroit Lions superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson, but Tillman stated earlier this week that the Bears will deviate from that usually reliable plan this week. That almost certainly has to do with Tillman’s groin injury, otherwise it would make little sense for the Bears to abandon a plan that has worked so well over the past few years. No team has been better at stopping the almost unstoppable Johnson than the Chicago Bears, and most of the credit goes to Charles Tillman.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs, Bears head coach Marc Trestman is “optimistic” that Tillman will play against the Lions tomorrow, and Biggs believes that Tillman will indeed play. He is listed questionable, but we should expect Tillman to play through the pain. He’s definitely not going to be at his best and could very well miss the game all together, but Tillman is a key player and should be healthy enough to face the Lions. It makes perfect sense that he won’t be shadowing Johnson whilst less than 100%, and it will take a team effort from the Bears to shut down the star receiver. The Bears won’t have to deal with Nate Burleson, who has made defenses pay big-time this year for keying too much on Johnson. But young wideout Ryan Broyles looks poised for a big game, and the oft-injured Oklahoma product has plenty of talent and won’t make life easy on the Bears defense.
Charles Tillman suffered the groin injury late in last week’s victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he was also dealing with a knee injury coming into the game that got him listed questionable on the injury report.