By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Charles Tillman’s right knee injury is serious enough that the Bears aren’t completely sure he’ll play Sunday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Head coach Marc Trestman originally said Tillman sat out Wednesday’s and Thursday’s practices for “precautionary” reasons, but his tune changed a little bit Friday after the team officially designated the cornerback as “questionable” for Sunday.
“We’ll leave it up to Charles and our trainers to see where he is,” Trestman said. “We’re optimistic, but we don’t know right now. That’s why he is listed the way he is.”
Tillman took half the reps in Friday’s shortened practice, which mostly consisted of red zone and special teams work. After practice concluded, Tillman took some extra one-on-one work with wide receiver Ricardo Lockette and didn’t appear to be limping too badly.
The issue originally popped up after the opener against the Bengals and Tillman tweaked the knee last week against the Vikings, but played through it. If it’s up to Tillman, it would be surprising if he wasn’t on the field Sunday, especially because he was able to practice on a limited basis Friday.
Silence Is Key
The Bears continued to work on their silent snap counts in practice Friday while pumping in crowd noise.
“Teams win on the road. One of the ways they win is they have the ability to get off the snap count without pre-snap penalties, which are such a focal point for teams offensively and defensively,” Trestman said. “So, we worked hard at it all three days with noise. We were very effective and now we’ve just got to do it under the lights on Sunday night.”
Of course, it’s important to remember that almost of these players, including most of the rookies, have played in stadium just as loud, if not louder, than Heinz Field.
“We’ve got guys that played throughout their college careers in stadiums larger than the ones we play in and noise that’s louder than some of the stadiums we play in,” Trestman said. “We’ve got an experienced group of young guys who have played in it and certainly veterans so we’ve got a system to get it done and we did it very effectively in the noise this week but that’s got to translate to the game. We’ll see.”
– Trestman isn’t concerned with how “desperate” of a team the 0-2 Steelers will be Sunday night.
“We don’t look at it that way. We look at this is Game 1 for us. How they look at it is up to them.”
– Kyle Long (back), Brandon Marshall (back) and Martellus Bennett (shoulder) are officially listed as “probable” for Sunday’s game. They all practiced in full Friday.
– Steelers’ tight end Heath Miller (knee) and defensive end Brett Keisel (calf) are officially listed as “probable” for the game. Running back Le’Veon Bell is “questionable”. View the full injury report here.
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.