Tillman not sounding as optimistic as he did last week
It was assumed all along that CB Nathan Vasher would miss significant time after hurting his groin in Week 3 against Dallas, but fellow cornerback Charles Tillman's injured ankle was subject to much more speculation. Vasher didn't practice at all last week and was listed as doubtful before the Week 4 matchup at Detroit. Tillman, on the other hand, was questionable on the injury report after not practicing all week but had still hoped to play against the Lions. However, both he and Vasher were inactive last Sunday as the defensive backfield was without all four opening-day starters. S Mike Brown is lost for the season on injured reserve with a ruptured ACL, and S Adam Archuleta was held out last week with a broken right hand.
CB Charles Tillman
Kevork Djansezian/AP Images
The Monsters of the Midway need Tillman back on the field desperately, especially facing the Packers and a rejuvenated Brett Favre this Sunday night at Lambeau Field, but Tillman admitted that he's not feeling much better than he did a week ago.
"A little bit," he said before practice Thursday at Halas Hall. "Like I said, I'm just trying to take it day by day. If I can go, I can go. If I can't, I suppose it's another week or so."
The Bears have been totally shredded in the secondary both at cornerback and safety, which is at least partially responsible for the defending NFC champions getting off to a sluggish 1-3 start, but Tillman doesn't necessarily do anything different with his rehabilitation based on wins and losses.
"I mean, whether we were 4-0 or 1-4," he explained, "I still would try to push myself to get out on the field. I don't think the record has anything to do with it."
Archuleta ready to go despite hand still being broken
Head coach Lovie Smith was very excited about lining up Archuleta at strong safety and Brown at free safety this season because of all the experience and success both of them have had in his Cover 2 system, but Brown went down in Week 1 and Archuleta was inactive in Week 4 as he deals with that broken hand. He is currently wearing a smaller brace than he was last week – it's only about as high as the wrist as opposed to the previous cast, which almost reached the elbow – and has declared himself ready to play this Sunday at Lambeau Field. He better be prepared to cover because, like Detroit, Green Bay is expected to sling the ball all over the field since the Bears are so beat up in the defensive backfield.
S Adam Archuleta
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Archuleta had planned on playing against the Lions last week before the coaching staff decided to sit him down for precautionary reasons, but the extra time off appears to have made a difference.
"It's just another week," Archuleta said after practice Thursday, "and we've got a lot of guys down. Last week, they felt more confident keeping me out, but there's really no difference. Just another week of healing is really all it is."
The hard-hitting safety doesn't believe he'll have any trouble tackling ball-carriers despite only having one good hand, but Archuleta admits that he won't know for sure until he gets out there and gives it a shot.
"Obviously, we don't practice tackling much this time of year," he said. "Especially on the day we have shells on, but we've been playing this game for a long time. So we'll go out there, throw my body around a little bit, and see what happens."
For the Bears, LB Lance Briggs (hamstring), RB Adrian Peterson (calf), OT John Tait (ankle), Tillman (ankle), and Vasher (groin) were all held out of practice Thursday. DT Tommie Harris (knee) and S Brandon McGowan (shoulder) were both able to participate on a limited basis after not practicing at all Wednesday. OG Ruben Brown and OT Fred Miller both participated fully after being limited the day before.
As for the Packers, CB Will Blackmon has been declared out for Sunday's game with a foot injury. DT Colin Cole (concussion) and RB Brandon Jackson (shin) were both held out of practice Thursday. OT Chad Clifton (illness), S Nick Collins (knee), CB Al Harris (back), DE Cullen Jenkins (ribs), WR Greg Jennings (team decision), DE Mike Montgomery (knee), DT Corey Williams (back), and CB Charles Woodson (foot) were all only able to participate on a limited basis. TE Bubba Franks (team decision) and C Scott Wells (hamstring) were both able to participate fully after being limited the day before.
News & Notes
Briggs was fined $485 and ordered to perform 120 hours of community service after pleading guilty Thursday to misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of an accident following the now infamous crashed Lamborghini episode Aug. 17. ... Archuleta had the latest copy of In Touch, one of those trashy, girly, grocery-store weeklies, inside his locker.
John Crist is the Editor in Chief of BearReport.com and a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit BearReport.com and become a Chicago Bears insider.