The Bears got out of their Week 1 matchup with the Indianapolis Colts relatively healthy, but a couple of key defensive contributors will be monitored closely as the Bears have a short turnaround until they square off with the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night.
Brian Urlacher was the big question mark heading into the season opener after spending his offseason nursing a knee injury that he suffered in Week 17. As promised, #54 was on the field September 9th. He was credited with 2 tackles and a pass defensed in just over a half of football. With the Bears up 20 points, Brian was handed a baseball hat and told to make himself comfortable on the bench. He was not happy coming out of the game:
“I wanted to get back in there the whole time,” he said. “I was excited. We made a lot of plays on defense. Lance (Briggs) had a nice play. Chris got a pick. Timmy got another pick. Henry got a couple sacks. … It was fun to watch our defense play like that.”
According to Urlacher, he is not dealing with any pain or ill-effects from playing on Sunday. We will see if he practices early this week in preparation for the Packers on Thursday.
The other key injury is to Bears #1 cornerback Charles Peanut Tillman. Tillman injured his lower leg on a punt return late in the first quarter. He returned to action but was pulled from the game. It’s not clear if he couldn’t go or if they were just being cautious with the game more or less in hand. Here’s my question – why in the name of Papa Bear Halas is your #1 cornerback playing on punt return teams? Don’t the Bears draft a bunch of special teamers every season? I hope this gets corrected immediately.
Tillman’s injury isn’t considered to be too serious and with Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Co. waiting in Green Bay, the Bears will need all hands on deck this Thursday. If Tillman can’t go, Kelvin Hayden will get the call. He filled in nicely against the Colts, but it was the Colts. It’s a step up in class against the Packers.
Keep an eye on these injuries throughout the short week with us here.