The health of quarterback Jay Cutler got a lot of attention on Sunday afternoon, but it looks like the Bears are going to be without one of their defensive stalwarts longer than they might be without Cutler.
The Bears announced Monday that cornerback Charles Tillman has been placed on injured reserve with a triceps injury. Tillman has been given the Bears’ one annual IR/return spot, leaving open the possibility Tillman could return later in the season. It’s a serious blow to a defense that’s already reeling from injuries to defensive tackle Henry Melton and linebacker Lance Briggs.
“It hurts. I’m definitely sad. We have a lot of potential. My role is now to be the biggest cheerleader I can,” Tillman said, via the team.
With just seven weeks left in the regular season and an eight week minimum before Tillman would be eligible to play again, any Tillman return would have to wait until the playoffs. For the Bears to make that a possibility, they’ll likely need to have Jay Cutler healthy and playing at a high level.
It’s unclear when that will be. Cutler’s been diagnosed with a high left ankle sprain and his status is being considered “week-to-week.” That will probably keep him from playing against the Ravens in Week 11 as the Bears surely would like to avoid a repeat of Sunday’s hobbled Cutler in the lineup for games they’ll have to win to make strides in the playoff chase.