Bears DT Stephen Paea says he’ll play against Saints
BY PATRICK FINLEY Staff Reporter October 4, 2013 11:54PM
Chicago Bears defensive tackle Stephen Paea (92) celebrates after tackling Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (42) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: 5CXB1
Updated: October 5, 2013 11:29AM
Defensive tackle Stephen Paea (toe) missed his third straight practice but said Friday that he plans to play Sunday against the Saints.
“It was just a precaution,” he said.
Paea has company.
Cornerback Charles Tillman, who, like Paea, is listed as questionable, was limited in practice Friday but said he has had enough rest this week to make his injured knee and groin feel better.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall (foot) was limited, too, but ruled probable.
“I would expect him to play,” coach Marc Trestman said.
Of the eight players listed on the injury report, only one, safety Anthony Walters (hamstring), is out.
Three were listed as probable after practicing in full — tight end Martellus Bennett (shoulder), cornerback Sherrick McManis (quadriceps) and defensive end Julius Peppers (chest).
Linebacker D.J. Williams, who has been sick, was limited in practice but is probable.
Paea said he’ll be ready. The Bears need him to be. They’re already thin at defensive tackle after Henry Melton tore a knee ligament in Pittsburgh and was lost for the season.
Trestman said the Bears “have been working all our guys” at defensive tackle, from Landon Cohen, who was signed and played last week, to new starter Nate Collins to defensive ends Corey Wootton and David Bass.
If Tillman could make it snow against the Saints, he would.
“I’d like to play them in December or January,” he said.
Quarterback Drew Brees is so good, it makes a player pray for weather.
“First off, he’s so damn accurate,” Tillman said. “So I think that’s the biggest challenge we have.”
Tillman said allowing 40 points against the Lions was “something we’re not accustomed to,” and “not acceptable.’’
“It’s not just about what [tight end] Jimmy Graham can do or what Brees can do,” Tillman said. “We have good players, as well.”
This and that
Running back Mark Ingram (toe) headlined a five-player list of Saints ruled out for Sunday. Safety Roman Harper (knee), wide receiver Lance Moore (hand), defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley (calf) and defensive end Tyrunn Walker (knee) also won’t play.
Cornerback Keenan Lewis (hip) and defensive end Tom Johnson (hamstring) were limited and are questionable. Guard Tim Lelito (calf) is probable.
† Trestman was asked if he was interested in former Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman, who was released this week.
“No. 1, it’s not even my say to evaluate him at this point,” he said. “I haven’t seen him play in the last five years enough to even comment on that.”
Contributing: Adam L. Jahns