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Tillman's status uncertain as Bears fight injuries in secondary

LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Charles Tillman grabbed some clothes from his locker and walked away without a word. The black sling supporting his left arm said plenty.

The Chicago Bears had already absorbed several blows before Jason Elam kicked the winning 48-yard field goal in a 22-20 loss to Atlanta on Sunday, none bigger than Tillman's left shoulder injury.

He left the game late in the second quarter. Backup Trumaine McBride went down, too. So did safety Danieal Manning.

And, by the way, Nathan Vasher missed his second straight game with a right wrist injury after indicating he would be ready. He made no predictions Monday, meaning Chicago could be without both starting cornerbacks when Minnesota visits this week.

"I'm feeling better this week," said Vasher, his right arm in a brace. "Hopefully, I have a chance to get back out there."

For now, that's in doubt. So is Tillman's status.

Two weeks after leaving the Bears' victory over the Philadelphia Eagles with an injured right shoulder, Tillman found himself on the sidelines again after the Falcons' Roddy White took him down late in the second quarter. And coach Lovie Smith indicated this injury is more serious. Whether it's serious enough to keep him out this week remains to be seen.

"He didn't finish the game," Smith said. "It's never good when that happens. We'll just continue to give him treatment. Charles Tillman's a tough guy. It's pretty hard to keep him out of a game. If he misses a game, then something's definitely wrong there, but I wouldn't rule him out or anything yet."

Tillman was injured when White hooked him from behind and drove him to the turf on a deep sideline pass. White got called for pass interference while Tillman had to be helped to the sideline.

The Bears had already lost McBride to an injured left shoulder on a second-quarter kickoff, and nickel back Manning pulled a hamstring on a punt in the third, further depleting the secondary.

Marcus Hamilton took over for Tillman and broke up a pass to White in the end zone, but also mistakenly covered a receiver underneath, leaving Mike Brown alone on a deep pass to Michael Jenkins that set up the winning field goal.

While stopping Adrian Peterson will be the biggest concern this week, the Bears can't ignore their old teammates Bernard Berrian and Bobby Wade. The speedy Berrian turned a short pass from Gus Frerotte into an 86-yard touchdown during Minnesota's 12-10 victory over Detroit.

"We know the receivers pretty good," Brown said. "We know Bernard. He was here for a while, we know what he brings to the table. Bobby Wade was here, we know what he brings to the table. This is definitely a game where we're going to gear up to stop Adrian."

They also have to shake off another difficult loss.

The Bears blew a 14-point lead in a loss at Carolina on Sept. 14 and couldn't protect a 10-point advantage in the final six minutes against Tampa Bay the following week, losing by three in overtime.

Now, this.

Chicago had just taken a 20-19 lead with 11 seconds left when Rashied Davis ran past cornerback Chris Houston to reel in a perfect pass from Kyle Orton.

Robbie Gould then pooched a kickoff that Harry Douglas returned 10 yards to the Atlanta 44. Matt Ryan hit Jenkins along the left sideline, setting up the winning field goal.

"That last kickoff, we need to get a little bit more," Smith said. "I feel like I could have helped our team a lot better if we had just kicked the ball deep, but it didn't work out that way."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert (10) rushes during an NFL football game between the between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Chargers, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Peter Joneleit)

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