After a tough loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday that knocked the Chicago Bears out of first place in the NFC South, the team has announced they’ll be without Al-Pro cornerback Charles Tillman for the remainder of the regular season after the team placed him on injured reserve with a designation to return in eight weeks:
Bears announce Cutler is week to week w/ankle sprain. Charles Tillman is put on IR, Designated to Return.
— Aaron Nagler (@Aaron_Nagler) November 11, 2013
Another bad break for Bears, who announce Tillman will go on injured reserve with designation to return in eight weeks with triceps injury. — David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) November 11, 2013
Tillman can’t rejoin the Bears until eight weeks from now, so their secondary will need to step up without one of their best defensive players. Tillman is in the final year of his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season.
His season ends with him having snagged three interceptions for the third-straight season, giving him 36 for his NFL career.
With him out, Tim Jennings will have to become the team’s No. 1 CB, and he’ll face a tough test in that role next week against the Baltimore Ravens, as he’ll likely be tasked with defending Pro Bowl wide receiver Torrey Smith, who led the Ravens with five catches, 46 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets in Sunday’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
This also could be their injury that ultimately causes Chicago to bow-out to the Lions in the race for the NFC North division crown. Not having he or QB Jay Cutler may be too much to overcome.