CHICAGO (CBS) – With a few extra days to rest and recuperate, Charles Tillman and Stephen Paea both should be ready to return to the lineup for the Bears’ next game against the Redskins on Sunday.
“I think both of them will be ready to go,” Bears head coach Marc Trestman told WBBM Newsradio’s Josh Liss on Monday. “They were close last week, and with a full week they probably both would have played, so we’ll see how they do.”
Tillman has been bothered by groin and knee injuries early in the season, and Paea has missed two games with a turf toe injury.
The Bears’ defense has been depleted by season-ending injuries to defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins. On Thursday, they also lost starting middle linebacker D.J. Williams for the season, when he tore a pectoral muscle. Rookie linebacker Jonathan Bostic will step up to take Williams’ place in the starting lineup, according to Trestman.
The coach said the extra rest the team will get after playing Thursday night will help the Bears get ready for their next game against the Redskins on Sunday.
“The first thing we got is we got some rest over the last three days. The guys grinded it out; you know, Sunday, after the New Orleans game, and then through Thursday night they played very, very hard, and gathered enough energy to get it done, and had a chance to get some rest, and get reinvigorated,” Trestman said.
Though the Redskins are 1-4, Trestman said their second-year quarterback, Robert Griffin III, has shown signs he’s bouncing back from a major knee injury. Trestman said he’ll spend the first few days this week watching tape of Washington’s loss to the Cowboys on Sunday, and preparing the gameplan for next week.
“We’ve seen enough of them on tape to know that they’ve got a quarterback who can make things happen, they’ve got a good back, a very active defense,” Trestman said. “They’ve got a little bit of a back-against-the wall mentality right now, but our focus is still on ourself.”
Trestman said the team will focus on fundamentals during Monday’s practice, as well as getting some extra work in for younger players.
“We think we’re close to being a much more consistent team in all our phases, but we haven’t done that yet. We’re going through some of the same growing pains that a lot of teams in the NFL go through at this point,” he said.