Chicago Bears: Decision All but Announced at Cornerback

Nick SheSenior Analyst IAugust 18, 2009

SEATTLE - AUGUST 16:  Cornerback Charles Tillman #33 of the Chicago Bears intercepts a pass against wide receiver Jordan Kent  #82 of the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on August 16, 2008 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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After allowing 23 of 26 passes to be completed on Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills, it comes to nobody's surprise that Lovie Smith has decided to change things up in the secondary.

The Nathan Vasher troubles appear to have found their way to the bench, while Trumaine McBride and Corey Graham had gone runs but aren't in line to start at the beginning of the 2009 regular season.

Smith made it fairly clear on Monday evening that a couple of wounded defensive backs will get the nod at the starting cornerback positions in Week 1, as long as they are both ready to play.

Everyone expected Charles Tillman to have a job when he was healthy enough to play, so that is no surprise, but it does come as a bit of a shock to some that Zack Bowman will get the start on the right side.

Bowman has been injured much of his short career, which is something he also had problems with while at Nebraska. With the Cornhuskers, a torn ACL kept him sidelined in 2006. 

Last year, Bowman tore his bicep after playing in only one regular season game, a 48-41 win over the the Minnesota Vikings at Solider Field. Bowman had an interception and two tackles in that contest.

Bowman has now missed practice for over a week with a hamstring injury.

How close are either of the two starters to getting back on the field in full pads?

There were rumors that Bowman would do so on Monday, but the Bears chose to not risk things and kept him away from furthering his injury instead. In all likelihood, he will return fully before the Bears break camp on Thursday.

There were rumors circulating in camp late last week that Tillman may be ready to play against the Broncos in Week 3 of the preseason. But those rumors appear to have gone away, and the Bears now seem to be thinking his first game action will come in Week 1 at Green Bay.

We'd all like to see Peanut get some game reps that don't really count in the realm of things under his belt after undergoing back surgery just before training camp opened, but it doesn't seem like that will be the case. But as long as he gets a full week of practice in, I don't think any Bears fans will have to worry. He's still in fine shape, as he's been keeping up on conditioning very well.

The news of the day is that Tillman and  Bowman will be your starting cornerbacks in Green Bay on Sept. 13, as long as they're both healthy and ready to go.

How does this make you feel, Bears fans? Are you OK with having two injured players as the pegged starters for now?