If Bears CB Charles Tillman is unable to play Thursday against Green Bay due to the shin injury he suffered against Indianapolis, it could affect more than the Bears' pass defense.
Tillman, who did not practice Tuesday, is one of main blockers on the punt-receiving team. He typically handles the opposing gunner.
In fact, Tillman suffered his shin injury on a punt, which could lead to questions about why the Bears would risk a Pro Bowl corner on special teams.
"He's one of the best corners in football, as far as shutdown gunner-type corners," special teams coordinator Dave Toub said. "We've got to have him on the field because he can shut down a gunner single-handedly."
Without Tillman in that role, Toub could turn to CB D.J. Moore or CB Kelvin Hayden. Toub said that, in all, there are seven starters who play at least one phase of special teams.
Gabe Carimi passes test: Any concern over tackle Carimi's knee seems to have vanished after the first game. He played well enough on the side where Robert Mathis lined up that players voted him a game ball.
Offensive line coach Mike Tice thought too much was made of his comments before the game about Carimi's surgically-repaired knee. “You guys were concerned," Tice said about the media. Tice said he had merely suggested Carimi would get rest if he needed it. "I was not concerned," Tice said. "And he got a game ball, so I guess I wasn’t that concerned.”
Injury update: TE Kyle Adams, who has a shoulder injury, practiced on a limited basis. LT J'Marcus Webb went through the entire practice after a thumb injury had bothered him Monday.
In case of emergency: The Bears don't want to end up like the Oakland Raiders, who lost their long snapper to injury and lost Monday night's game to San Diego largely as a result. He had TE Matt Spaeth doing long snaps as a backup to Patrick Mannelly, who set the franchise record for most games played (215) last week. Mannelly had season-ending knee surgery last year after the same game Jay Cutler was injured. The Bears had a backup plan when that initially occurred: fullback Tyler Clutts was an emergency long snapper, but he was traded before the regular season to Houston.
Zebra's stripes: Smith scoffed at the idea that Green Bay might back off defensively from playing tight, press coverage now that the Bears have a legitimate big receiver in Brandon Marshall. "I don't think teams change up who they are based on the opponent an awful lot," he said. "That's their basic philosophy. I think you see most games that's what they're going to do. So yeah, I assume that's what they're going to do. We have to be able to win those battles."
Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter @CBSBears.