Charles Tillman will be questionable for Sunday's game at Green Bay when the injury report is released later this afternoon.
Coach Lovie Smith said that the decision will rest in the hands of medical people, but at this point, two days before the start of the season, you would have to imagine a decision has been made. Tillman had back surgery in July, and just returned to the practice field on Monday. He completed his fourth practice this afternoon, and he and fellow cornerback Zack Bowman were the last two players on the fields behind Halas Hall.
"Either way,'' Smith said when asked if he didn't know or just didn't want to say. "What difference does it matter? Don't want to say, don't have to say, what I have to say is give you a questionable for him and that's what I'm saying right now and why would I want to say anymore.''
Tillman, well coached on the matter, said his gut feeling is ... what else? Fifty-fifty.
"I'm in the paper all week long,'' Tillman said. "What the hell?''
Tillman said the difference today as opposed to earlier in the week is he is no longer sore.
"It's really not about me pushing them to make me play,'' he said. "They're going to make their decision and the doctor is going to make his decision regardless of what I say or what I do. They have the green light to whatever it is I need to do. I'm just prepared if I get it, prepared if I don't get it. That's why I've been saying 50-50 all week.''
Smith said the Bears have already erred on the side of caution with Tillman, who had shoulder surgery at the start of the offseason and also suffered a hyperextended knee during the offseason program. On Thursday, Smith seemed to indicate that all players would be available for the game.
"I think we've erred on the side of caution when we put a player back out on the football field,'' Smith said. "Once we put a player on the field we feel pretty good. You can always re-injure something, but you can't think in those terms. All of our players, the ones we put on the field, we feel comfortable they can make it through and we're not expecting them to hurt themselves again."
If Tillman doesn't start, the best guess is Zack Bowman and Nathan Vasher do start.
*** Defensive lineman Israel Idonije (hamstring) will be listed as probable. Wide receiver Devin Aromashodu (right quad) will be questionable.