Charles Tillman Has Surgery On Shoulder

Bears cornerback injured for much of 2008

Perhaps it's time to revise, if only slightly, our perceptions of Charles Tillman in 2008.

For much of the season, we were aware that Tillman was playing injured -- he hurt his shoulder in September, and was never really the same. What we didn't know until today was that Tillman had torn ligaments in his shoulder that required surgery. He finally had that surgery Wednesday, as reported by the Sun-Times.

So instead of being slightly hurt, or nursing an ankle (which Tillman also did this year; quite a season for his body, this), Tillman's shoulder was seriously injured throughout the season. He could have had surgery in September. He probably should have. Doctors told him he could play without risking further damage to it, though, so Tillman trudged on.

What's more, he never blamed his substandard corner play on the shoulder, which he probably could have. Instead, Tillman was silent on the matter for most of the year. He made no excuses. That's pretty admirable.

It's also good news for the Bears. Had Tillman had his below-average 2008 in a healthy body, the Bears would have even more reason to be concerned about their secondary. As it is, they can hope Tillman's shoulder recovers, hope a healthy Charles is the Charles of recent seasons -- a good if not great NFL cornerback -- and focus their redemptive efforts elsewhere.

Like, you know, the other cornerback. Or quarterback. Or anywhere, really; there is plenty of improvement to go around.

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