Bears CB Charles Tillman questionable with knee injury
BY MARK POTASH Staff Reporter September 20, 2013 9:14PM
Updated: October 22, 2013 6:11AM
Bears Pro Bowl cornerback Charles Tillman practiced on a limited basis Friday because of a knee injury and is questionable for Sunday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field.
‘‘He worked about half the reps,’’ coach Marc Trestman said. ‘‘We’ll leave it up to Charles and our trainers to see where he is. We’re optimistic.’’
Tillman has played in 97 of 100 games over the last seven seasons, including the last 52 in a row. If he’s unable to play, veteran Zack Bowman would start at cornerback. Bowman has started 16 games in his six-year NFL career, including 12 for the Bears in 2009.
‘‘I feel confident in all the guys we have,’’ defensive coordinator Mel Tucker said when asked about Bowman possibly starting. ‘‘That’s why they’re here. We have total confidence in guys to step up and make plays when needed.’’
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (back), tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder) and right guard Kyle Long (back) practiced fully Friday and are probable.
Tillman was fined $15,750 by the NFL for his horse-collar tackle of Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings along the sideline.
Upholding NFC pride
After the Chiefs’ victory over the Eagles on Thursday night, the NFC is 1-6 against the AFC. The Bears have the lone victory, beating the Bengals 24-21 in Week 1.
Though the Steelers’ offense ranks 31st in the NFL in total yards, the Bears’ defense isn’t going in overconfident. The Bears rank 17th in total defense and have only two sacks in two games.
‘‘This is Week 2 — it’s not Week 14,’’ linebacker James Anderson said. ‘‘It’s not like we’ve clinched a playoff spot or done something crazy. We’ve won two games. We’ve played well to start, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We’ve got a lot of things that need fixing to get where we want to be.’’