Cornerback Charles Tillman returns a fumble against the Packers. Tillman was the latest Chicago Bear to earn defensive player of the month honors. (US Presswire)

Three of the past four NFC defensive players of the month have gone to the Chicago Bears. DE Julius Peppers won it last November. In September CB Tim Jennings earned the award. And CB Charles Tillman was named the October winner on Thursday.

Tillman returned two interception for TDs (25 and 36 yards), forced two fumbles, held Lions WR Calvin Johnson to a season-low 34 yards on three catches and was part of a secondary that held QBs to an NFL low 61.9 passer rating. 

Tillman has won player of the week a couple times, and made the Pro Bowl last year for the first time in his ninth season. It seems people are appreciating his abilities now after he played in the shadows of other defensive backs like Green Bay's Charles Woodson.

"I've been doing what I've been doing for a long time," he said. "People are just probably starting to figure it out. Well, so be it. I know what I've been able to do. My teammates, they know what I've been able to do. And at the end of the day I think that's the only thing that really matters is what the coaches, organization, teammates ... how they feel."

Former Bucs coach Tony Dungy, who gets credit for more or less creating the Bears' style of defense, said Tillman is an ideal player for the scheme.

"I think for many years people have kind of taken him for granted, some of the attention has gone to a lot of different cornerbacks," teammate Lance Briggs said. "But Peanut’s consistency has always been there. And I think right now I think it is great that more people are noticing it more and more and Tony Dungy is saying he is the prototypical type of cornerback for this defense. 

"But his talent and what he is able to do, he has done some things in the NFL that no one has ever done before and people will try to mimic years after."

Tillman has 32 forced fumbles and 32 INTs. He and Brian Dawkins are the only players to go over 30 in each category since forced fumbles became an official statistic in 1991. Tillman has forced more fumbles than any defensive back since he came into the league with 11 more than second-place Dawkins. 

Tillman seems the antithesis of Jennings. At 6-foot-2, he's about four inches taller than Jennings. 

"He has his style, I have my style," Tillman said. "I think it's what makes our defense a little bit better than some -- especially in years past, the way we're able to match up against different receivers. So I definitely think that that's a bonus for us." 

Tillman has no idea if he receives anything for the award. He said he didn't get anything for winning player of the week.

"So I assume you get nothing, which I'm OK with," he said.

The only other time the Bears had two players win defensive player of the month in a season since 1986 was their run to the Super Bowl in 2010 (Urlacher, Peppers).

Injury update: Briggs went through a limited practice Thursday due to a toe injury. His return for the game is expected, but his status for Friday's practice is uncertain. ... Urlacher and Peppers were given their normal veterans day off from practice but are expected back Friday.  ... WR Alshon Jeffery (hand fracture) and OT Jonathan Scott (groin strain) missed practice. ... TE Matt Spaeth (ankle), who practiced on a limited basis Wednesday, went through a full practice Thursday.

Follow Bears reporter Gene Chamberlain on Twitter: @CBSBears.