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Charles Tillman questionable for matchup with Calvin Johnson

Updated: October 29, 2013 6:15AM



Cornerback Charles Tillman, a worthy challenger to Pro Bowl wide receiver Calvin Johnson, is questionable for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field because of knee and groin injuries.

‘‘He worked [Friday]. Looked good. We’ll see how he feels [Saturday],’’ coach Marc Trestman said after practice ‘‘We’re reasonably optimistic that he’ll be playing.’’

Trestman said a decision on Tillman’s availability is out of his hands.

‘‘If the doctors and trainers say he’s ready to go, then he’s ready to go,’’ Trestman said.

Tillman has started 77 of the Bears’ last 78 games, including the last 51. If he can’t play, Zack Bowman would start, backed up by nickel back Isaiah Frey.

‘‘The guys are ready,’’ assistant secondary coach Chris Harris said. ‘‘That’s one thing that they’re doing — studying, doing a great job of getting the reps. They’re seeing things. We feel comfortable with anybody we put on the field.’’

Cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad) did not practice and is doubtful. Bowman (knee) practiced fully and is probable.

For the Lions, starting defensive end Esekiel Ansah (abdomen), starting right tackle Jason Fox (groin), backup tackle Corey Hilliard (groin) and backup safety Don Carey (hamstring) are questionable. Backup wide receiver Patrick Edwards (ankle) is doubtful.

Tillman factor

The one game Tillman has missed in the last five seasons was against the Lions at Ford Field in the 2009 season finale.

Nathan Vasher, a Pro Bowl player, started in place of Tillman. Johnson had six receptions for 86 yards and a five-yard touchdown from Daunte Culpepper (262 yards passing) in a 37-23 Bears victory. Vasher had one tackle.

Melton out, Cohen in

The Bears signed former Lions defensive tackle Landon Cohen to replace Henry Melton, who was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL.

The 6-3, 274-pound Cohen has played in 27 games, with five starts over five seasons with the Lions (2008-09), Buccaneers (2010), Patriots (2011) and Cowboys (2012).

Steelers’ Dwyer fined

Steelers running back Jonathan Dwyer was fined $21,000 for ‘‘delivering a forcible blow’’ when he lowered his helmet against Bears safety Chris Conte at the end of a 25-yard run in the second quarter of the Bears’ 40-23 victory Sunday at Heinz Field.

Contributing: Adam L. Jahns

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkPotash



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