LINK to the article Injury questions linger with Urlacher, Tillman
By Brad Biggs, Tribune reporter 3:35 p.m. CDT, September 11, 2012
It’s too early to say if the Chicago Bears will be shorthanded when they face the Green Bay Packers Thursday night, but two defensive starters were sidelined at Tuesday’s practice -- the only one of the week.
Middle linebacker Brian Urlacher and cornerback Charles Tillman were not practicing during the portion reporters were allowed to view.
Urlacher started in Sunday’s season opener against the Indianapolis Colts after practicing just three times following arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He participated in the first 27 snaps of the game before the Bears mounted a 20-point lead and coach Lovie Smith elected to rest him early in the third quarter.
Tillman suffered a right shin injury in the first quarter, returned very briefly and then was sent to the locker room for the remainder of the game. He doesn’t have anything on his leg, and Smith was optimistic Monday about the chances the veteran plays.
The Bears have a plan in place for Urlacher to limit his practice reps but he won’t be full speed against the Packers and he didn’t look like his familiar self against the Colts.
“He's a great player,” Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers said. “He's been around for a long time, understands the system that they run there, understands how to play the game. He's really savvy about reading his keys, making plays on the football when he can. He just does a great job out there.
“I have a lot of respect for him the way he plays the game, the way he conducts himself as a professional. I've always enjoyed the competition against him and just have a strong admiration and respect for him.”
If Tillman cannot play, he will be replaced by veteran Kelvin Hayden. The Packers have injury issues of their own. Wide receiver Greg Jennings has a groin injury and his status for the game remains in question. Jennings was held out of the final meeting between teams last season won by Green Bay 35-21.