Bears cornerback Charles Tillman is hoping that his wife doesn’t go into labor until Monday, but he said in a radio interview on Wednesday that he would miss the Bears’ Sunday night game against the Texans if he needed to be at the hospital with his wife.
Tillman said that family was his first priority, something driven home when one of his other daughters was born with a rare heart condition. Mike Florio of PFT and others have taken issue with Tillman’s stance, but that group does not include Tillman’s coach or one of his teammates.
“It’s family first,” Bears coach Lovie Smith said, via Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. “If there is something you feel like you need to do for your family always do that. How we look at it is like an injury. If a player can’t go, it’s next guy up. We’ll keep going.”
“It’s take care of your family. We understand how things are run around here,” wide receiver Brandon Marshall said. “This is a special group. Coach Smith is a special guy, definitely in how he runs things, and … you take on the character of your leader. That’s what he preaches — family comes first.”
You can’t really preach the importance of family and then say that Sundays are a different story. If the Bears are okay with Tillman missing the game and Tillman is okay with missing the game, it’s hard to imagine there’s much more of a story here regardless of the decision that Tillman makes.