(Friday Afternoon Update: Charles Tillman participates fully in practice) The Bears on Thursday suspended standout defensive lineman Tommie Harris for Sunday’s road game against the Detroit Lions for breaking an unspecified team rule. Inside team sources verified Harris’ knack for being late; which includes the standout talent and team leader showing up tardy for scheduled rehab appointments on his knee.
Head Coach Lovie Smith on disciplinary action: “It’s always disappointing when you have to suspend one of your players, but nothing’s bigger than the team.”
Tommie Harris might have been ready to return Sunday: “Last week he was close, so I assume he would have been able to,” Smith said.
Very frustrating and surprising: “It’s disappointing when you have to [suspend a player],” Smith said. “But as far as disrupting the team, it can’t. Injuries happen. Players don’t play from time to time. You have to move on. We played last week without Tommie, so we’ve been in that situation before.”
Harris will be back: “I’m disappointed in what happened today and what happened this week, having to deal with this,” said the Bears coach. “But this isn’t a lifetime sentence or anything like that. Tommie will continue to get his rehab getting ready to help the football team later on in the year. Next week, hopefully Monday, he’ll be ready to go and we’ll go from there.”
Tommie Harris speaks: “I really didn’t want to be a distraction to my team or anything like that.” “I just apologize to all my fans and everybody. I just ask for people to pray for me. “And I’ll be fine.”
Other News: Starting CB’s Charles Tillman (shoulder) and Nathan Vasher (hand), along with wide receivers Brandon Lloyd (knee) and Marty Booker (knee) were held out of practice Thursday for the second straight day. 1st round draft selection OT Chris Williams (back) was limited and starting strong safety Kevin Payne participated fully after being limited Wednesday.