Chris Williams can take it from the best left tackle in the history of the organization: don't try to come back too soon from surgery to repair a herniated disc.
Jimbo Covert said a hasty return from surgery to repair a disc in his back in 1988 wound up shortening his career. When back issues came again in 1991, Covert needed a laminectomy, he was forced to retire after eight seasons. He never made another Pro Bowl after the disc surgery.
"I came back and played seven weeks after surgery," Covert said Saturday night at practice. "Which was not smart. To try to come back and play, this is me personally, it shortened my career. That was too soon."
The Bears are floating the idea Williams could be available some time in October, two months removed from surgery. They are planning on keeping a roster spot open for Williams.
"Personally, it's his deal," Covert said when asked if Williams should sit out the entire season and become the fourth first-day draft pick in three seasons to miss his entire rookie year. "I don't know. You've got to get healthy again."
*** Cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher, who were both excused Saturday night for personal reasons, were on campus this morning and are expected to be on the field when practice begins at 3 p.m.