Bears’ Charles Tillman out for season with triceps injury
By Rich Campbell, Chicago Tribune reporter
The Chicago Bears plan to put starting cornerback Charles Tillman on the season-ending injured reserve list because of the right triceps injury he suffered in Sunday’s win over the San Francisco 49ers, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed. ESPN first reported the news.
The Bears have neither confirmed the injury nor their intent to make the roster transaction. Coach Marc Trestman is not scheduled to meet with reporters until Tuesday afternoon. Tillman’s agent did not return multiple messages.
Tillman suffered the same fate in 2013 after he tore the same triceps in a loss on Nov. 10 to the Detroit Lions. And at age 33, it’s possible he has played his last down for the Bears.
Tillman was injured with 10 minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter Sunday night. He engaged 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree in a block near the right sideline as quarterback Colin Kaepernick scrambled his way. Tillman doubled over in pain, favoring his right arm almost immediately after initiating the block.
The setback ruins what was shaping up to be a productive 12th season with the Bears.
After Tillman had surgery to repair the muscle last year, the Bears were prepared to let him leave in free agency. But the reunion Tillman anticipated with former coach Lovie Smith with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did not materialize because the Buccaneers didn’t meet his asking price.
Tillman re-signed with the Bears on a one-year contract that was worth a maximum of $3.25 million. But the Bears protected themselves against the risk of re-injury by including a $25,000 per game roster bonus. The base salary is $2.25 million, and $750,000 was guaranteed.
Kyle Fuller, the cornerback whom the Bears drafted 14th overall in May, is positioned to replace Tillman in the starting lineup. Fuller’s two fourth-quarter interceptions against the 49ers sparked the Bears’ 28-20 comeback victory.