Bears notes: Tillman says he will be ready to go Thursday
Charles Tillman, who missed the second half of Sunday’s 41-21 loss to the Cardinals with a shoulder injury, practiced Tuesday for the Bears and is expected to start at cornerback Thursday night against the 49ers.
He said the short turnaround won’t be hard for him.
“It’s not just me. Other players around the league on other teams feel the same way I do,” Tillman said. “Every player in the league feels about 80 percent right now, maybe 90.”
Tillman’s return is particularly important because injured strong safeties Al Afalava and Kevin Payne did not practice Tuesday.
“We have a few guys down, but this time of the year it’s normally like that,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We have other options still. We’ll see how the guys feel (Wednesday) and go from there.”
Option No. 1 would be Josh Bullocks, who started 49 games with the Saints the previous four years. Bullocks was expected to start when he was first signed with the Bears as a free agent this winter, but has only one tackle – on special teams – this season.
“Man, you all ain’t ever heard of Josh Bullocks? The dude is a beast,” Tillman said. “You’ll all see on Sunday.
“Oh, sorry, Thursday. Short week. My mind is elsewhere. Let me start over: Josh Bullocks, you all don’t know? You all are going to see on Thursday.”
Eagles-Bears still in prime time
NBC has decided not to “flex” Chicago’s next home game. The Bears game vs. the Eagles on Nov. 22 will remain the prime-time 7:20 p.m. game even though the network had the option of switching to another game. The Bears (4-4) have lost three of their last four games while the Eagles (5-3) have lost two of their last four.
No penalty yet
Tommie Harris expects to be fined – and maybe even suspended -- by the NFL for punching Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui, but hasn’t heard anything yet. “Do you see any envelope?” he told a crowd of reporters, pointing to his locker.
Nothing like Denver
Quarterback Jay Cutler said Chicago’s struggling defense did not remind him of his time in Denver, when the Broncos’ defense ranked 29th in the NFL last year.
“We’ve got a lot of faith in Lovie,” Cutler said. “We’ve got a lot of faith in the defense and what they are able to do. We know defensively they are going to come to play Thursday. They are going to give it everything they’ve got.”
A man who has a way with words
Tommie Harris explained his troubles as going through a dark tunnel and now seeing the light. “And I’m not trying to be a poetry or whatever, poetess. Whatever – a poet,” he said. “I’m not trying to be like that.”
Matt Trowbridge can be reached at (815) 987-1383 email@example.com.