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It wasn't Bears cornerback Charles Tillman's best game of his career, but the historical significance of one of his plays earned him another distinction.

Tillman was named the NFC defensive player of the week on Wednesday after setting a Bears record with his eighth career defensive touchdown in Sunday's 41-3 romp past the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Charles Tillman said that he experienced "extreme dizziness'' when he was hit in the back of the helmet in Sunday's loss at Minnesota.

That is what led the Bears to say he suffered a mild concussion. Tillman returned to the practice field this afternoon at Halas Hall and had full participation, making him likely to start Sunday's game vs. St. Louis unless there is an unforeseen setback.

"Really, it was just a hard hit to the back of my head, a big bump,'' he said. "I saw like a bright flash, dizziness more than anything. I was completely conscious. I knew what was going on the whole time. Just more less just dizziness. I was completely aware of my surroundings. I knew I was in Minnesota. I knew I was in the Metrodome. I knew I was in a football game."

The NFL released new guidelines for players returning to action from concussions on Wednesday, and Tillman passed all the levels of tests. Concussions have been at the forefront for the league, which had to appear on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee in late October. Quarterbacks Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger sat out with concussions last week. Running backs Clinton Portis and Brian Westbrook have been sidelined. Running back Jamal Lewis was placed on inured reserve on Wednesday with post-concussion symptoms.

Charles Tillman, who left Sunday's blowout in Minnesota with a concussion, is back on the snowy practice field this afternoon, four days after suffering the head injury.

That means Tillman passed with flying colors the stricter guidelines handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday. It was the second lopsided loss that Tillman has pulled himself out of this season. He left the Arizona game with a shoulder injury, and there were at least two games that he didn't finish in 2008. But he usually returns to play the next week.

As expected, defensive end Alex Brown returned from his calf injury, and is also practicing. He has played in a team-high 122 consecutive games. Defensive tackle Tommie Harris (knee) is also a full go.

The Bears will have to follow a stricter NFL policy regarding concussions before cornerback Charles Tillman can return to the practice field or consider playing in Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams.

Tillman was knocked out of Sunday's loss at Minnesota with what coach Lovie Smith has repeatedly called a "mild concussion.'' He did not practice today, and was seen driving out of the facility in the late morning.

Commissioner Roger Goodell notified teams today of an expanded return-to-play mandate for players who suffer concussions that takes effect immediately. The stricter guidelines was created by the league's medical committee on concussions in conjunction with the NFL Players Association.

The new statement reads:

"Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant. A critical element of managing concussions is candid reporting by players of their symptoms following an injury. Accordingly, players are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion."


Charles Tillman vowed to be ready to go Thursday night at San Francisco after being knocked out of Sunday's game with a left shoulder injury, and rookie strong safety Al Afalava labeled himself day-to-day.

The Bears weren't just beat by Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner, who threw five touchdown passes in the 41-21 Cardinals' victory at Soldier Field, they were beat up. Tillman left the game after trying to arm tackle wide receiver Steve Breaston on an end around as he was blocked by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

"I will be ready to see Isaac Bruce and [Michael] Crabtree, Josh Morgan and Vernon Davis,'' Tillman said. "That guy can run. He's not your average tight end."

Tillman was knocked out of multiple games last season with shoulder injuries, and he has a history of subluxations in his career. He underwent surgery on his right shoulder in January but said that he will not be worried about his shoulders returning to the field.

Afalava was knocked out of the game when he re-injured his right shoulder that first became a problem in preseason. Afalava said after the game that he expected to have an MRI today, but that apparently didn't happen.

Running back Garrett Wolfe was taken to the hospital during the second half of Sunday's game and will remain hospitalized for another day with what is believed to be a lacerated kidney, a source told the Sun-Times.

Wolfe was knocked out of the loss to the Arizona Cardinals at Soldier Field with what the team described as a back injury, but Wolfe was urinating blood at halftime, and was taken for medical treatment and evaluation immediately.

The injury is not believed to be serious longterm, and it could be something that Wolfe heals from in two to four weeks. It's unknown how that would affect his roster status. The Bears went two games without running back Adrian Peterson while he nursed a sprain knee. Wolfe is considered a key special teams player.

One of the issues that has plagued Charles Tillman in his career has been frequent shoulder dislocations, or subluxations, and it is possible that is what happened when he reached out in an effort to tackle a streaking Steve Breaston during the second quarter.

Breaston came around the left side on an interesting end around where the Cardinals brought another player in motion in front of him. Tillman was being blocked well downfield by wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, who was engaging him at his right shoulder. When Breaston went by, Tillman reached out with his left arm in an effort to make the play and failed. He instantly went to the ground in pain, and came off the field.

Tillman had surgery in January to repair his right shoulder, which was injured against Philadelphia when he went to make a tackle on tight end Brent Celek. Two weeks later, Tillman left the game at Atlanta with an injury to his left shoulder. He played through the remainder of the season with injuries to both shoulders, and admitted recently that it was difficult to raise his arms above his head last season.

Rookie strong safety Al Afalava will undergo an MRI on his right shoulder to determine the nature of his injury on Monday morning.

Afalava left the game in the first half when he missed an arm tackle on a running play.

"He ran through my arm and the shoulder went numb,'' Afalava said.

He originally injured his right shoulder in preseason, and has occasionally appeared on the injury report this season. The Bears replaced Afalava with veteran Kevin Payne.

Chad Ochocinco has been tweeting up a storm this week but he put the kidding aside Wednesday morning in an entertaining conference call with reporters. He's seen Charles Tillman do a pretty good job the last games on Atlanta's Roddy White and Detroit's Calvin Johnson.

The Bears were burned by Johnson in the first half of the Lions' game, and coach Lovie Smith made a halftime adjustment having Tillman shadow him on the field where he went. Johnson had three catches for 14 yards, and Tillman followed it up Sunday night in the Georgia Dome against White, who had four catches for 56 yards. White scored on a bubble screen that went 40 yards, and Tillman was wiped out by tight end Tony Gonzalez on the play.

"Beautiful. Beautiful,'' Ochocinco said when asked about Tillman. "I've been studying film on Peanut since training camp actually. I got some of the film that I could from when he played before and watched some of the things he does. He's really, really good, man. I know I've been playing around on Twitter and going back and forth with the nonsense--it's the way I play the game--but he looks really good and he's put up some shut-downs on some pretty good top receivers, so it's going to be a fun, interesting matchup come Sunday."

Ochocinco, who called out the secondary in a playful way on Twitter, said the Bears will be kissing the baby from the moment the whistle blows. He's got an end zone celebration planned for the game, too. When he was known as Chad Johnson, he scored two touchdowns vs. the Bears at Soldier Field in 2005, doing his take on Michael Flatley's Riverdance. That was at a time when Brian Urlacher was embroiled in a dispute with Tyna Robertson, the mother of his son. Robertson had falsely accused Flatley of rape, and he won a successful lawsuit against her. He said he's not going to repeat a dance he's already done.

"A very good friend of mine, Ronaldinho, I'm thinking about doing the Samba this week,'' Ochocinco said. "Courtesy of my friend Ronaldinho."

GREEN BAY, Wis.--The Bears announced that Charles Tillman will be active and is expected to start at left cornerback.

Tillman warmed up on the field two hours before the game with Lance Briggs, and had a short visit with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

The surprise is that Zack Bowman, who the Bears raved about all spring and summer, has not supplanted veteran Nathan Vasher at right cornerback. Coach Lovie Smith hinted strongly during training camp that the Bears were holding starting spots for Tillman and Bowman while they were injured, but Vasher gets the nod.

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.''

Did Lovie Smith tip his hand on the plan for Sunday night at Green Bay?

We're going to have to wait until we get to Lambeau Field to find the answer, but Smith at least seemed to indicate that veteran cornerback Charles Tillman will be on the field against the Packers.

Smith was asked how tough it has been to prepare the secondary through what has been a series of injuries. Tillman didn't return to practice until Monday after missing all of the preseason, training camp and the majority of the offseason program as he had back and shoulder surgeries. Cornerback Zack Bowman missed most of camp and three preseason games with a pulled hamstring. Projected free safety and nickel back Danieal Manning was in and out with a hamstring pull, and now looks like he'll just play the nickel, at least to start the season.

"Well, I think it is a good thing though because now we have all of the players that we started training camp hoping would be on the field, we have for our first game,'' Smith said in answer to the question. "That's a good thing. Players tell you who should start, who should dress. We have a pretty good idea of how we will play our players this week. We are confident they will play well and again we have a good group to choose from."

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