LAKE FOREST – It would be an overstatement to call the lead-up to Sunday’s Bears-Lions game a “war of words,” but the Lions could have given the Bears some fodder to respond. Coach Marc Trestman and his team wouldn’t bite, though.
“I don’t tell our players what to say or how to say it. The only thing I ask them to do is to be mindful of the fact that their locker room is just like ours, their players are just like ours and they’re working just as hard, just like their coaches are,” the Bears coach said after Friday’s practice. “And we’re trying to do everything we can not only to respect them, but to respect the game. So when we say things, we want to make sure it’s respectful of the game.”
Lions receiver Calvin Johnson told the media this week regarding the Bears, per the Lions’ website, “It’s easy to have a dislike for them. It’s not hard at all.”
Trestman was asked about Megatron’s words.
“I can’t answer the question because I can’t speak for Calvin Johnson. He’s a great player and I know when the whistle blows, he’s ready to play,” he said. “Everybody has the right to say what they want to say, but I’m indifferent about what is being said.”
Since improving on the field and having a feather-ruffling player such as Ndamukong Suh, the Lions have made this series more of a rivalry in some observers’ eyes, but not Trestman’s.
“I don’t think there’s such thing as a rivalry in the NFL,” he said. “I think, as soon as you make something a rivalry, you make someone more important than the next. The Detroit Lions aren’t any more important than any other team. We have to play them and we have to compete against them on Sunday and they deserve our maximum respect.”
Questionable again: Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (knee/groin) had limited participation in Friday’s practice and is listed as questionable in the team’s injury report. “He worked today. Looked good. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow, but I would still have to say he’s questionable,” Trestman said, “but we’re reasonably optimistic that he’ll be playing.” Tillman was questionable last week as well and started against Pittsburgh, but couldn’t finish the game because of tightness in his groin. He has not missed a start since 2009.
Quick hits: Cornerback Sherrick McManis (quad) missed Friday’s practice and is doubtful for Sunday’s game in Detroit. … The Bears placed Henry Melton on injured reserve Friday and signed Landon Cohen. In five career seasons, Cohen has appeared in 27 games with five starts for the Lions, Jaguars, Patriots and Cowboys.