By Adam Hoge-
HALAS HALL (CBS) Bears cornerback Charles Tillman practiced Friday, completing a similar routine as the one he exercised before playing the Steelers last week.
The only difference is that Tillman is now nursing both a knee and groin injury, but the Bears remain hopeful the cornerback will be able to play against the Lions Sunday in Detroit despite being officially listed as “questionable”.
“He worked today. Looked good,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but I would still have to say he’s questionable, but we’re reasonably optimistic that he’ll be playing.”
Tillman refused to talk to reporters after practice, simply saying: “I’m good.”
Trestman said the cornerback will work out the next couple of days and the decision will ultimately be up to the training staff.
“If the doctors and the trainers say he’s ready to go, then he’s ready to go,” Trestman said. “I won’t be making this decision.”
No Such Thing As A Rivalry
Trestman is already off to a 1-0 start in the NFC North after beating the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2. And with a win Sunday, the Bears can open up a two-game lead on the second-place Detroit Lions.
The fact that you can hand a division opponent a loss at the same time you collect a win would seem to make it a more important game than one against a non-divisional opponent, but that’s not how Trestman is looking at it.
“I don’t think there’s such thing as a rivalry in the NFL,” the head coach said Friday. “I think as soon as you make something a rivalry, you make someone more important than the next. The Detroit Lions aren’t any more important than any other team. We have to play them and we have to compete against them on Sunday and they deserve our maximum respect.
“If we say there’s a rivalry, then we’re saying that one game is more important than the other, and it’s not. Every game has an equal amount of importance whoever you’re playing, and it would be disrespectful to 30 other teams if we said this game is more important than the next, or a bigger rivalry than the next. That’s respecting everybody else you’re playing, and I don’t think that’s fair or respectful of playing and coaching in this league.”
Somewhere Lovie Smith is thinking about his recent record against the Green Bay Packers and disagreeing.
Long Braces For Suh
All week long, the Bears have downplayed the reputation of Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, but Bears right guard Kyle Long admitted Friday that he has received some extra advice on staying disciplined against the Lions.
“Don’t get pulled into anything they’re trying to do from an extracurricular standpoint,” Long told 670 The Score’s Zach Zaidman. “Just play your butt off and stick to assignment-based football and keep those sticks moving.”
Long added that his experience in junior college will help him stay poised Sunday.
“I feel like there were no rules in junior college and a lot of teams took full advantage of that after the whistle and it forced a lot of our guys to remain cool, keep their cool,” he said.
The rookie said he hasn’t heard any stories from the veterans about what the Lions do after the whistle, but all you need to do is turn on the tape.
“Just looking at the film, you see things and you say, ‘Wow.'”
– Bears cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad) is officially “doubtful” for Sunday’s game. With Tillman’s health in doubt, it’s possible rookie C.J. Wilson is activated for the first time to fill McManis’ role on special teams and provide some cornerback depth.
– The Bears signed defensive tackle Landon Cohen Friday and officially placed Henry Melton (torn ACL) on injured reserve. The Bears are Cohen’s fifth NFL team since coming into the league in 2008. Don’t expect Cohen to be ready to contribute by Sunday. Instead, it appears likely that rookie Zach Minter will be active for the first time.
– Trestman was asked about Calvin Johnson saying Thursday that “it’s easy to have dislike for them”, which “them” referring to the Bears. Not surprisingly, the Bears head coach took the high road.
“He’s a great player and I know that when the whistle blows, he’s ready to play. I mean, everybody has the right to say what they want to say, but I’m indifferent about what is being said.”
Adam Hoge covers the Bears for CBSChicago.com and is a frequent contributor to 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamHoge.