The big question all week was just how much Bears nickel back D.J. Moore would be fined for going after Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and subsequently being ejected from Sunday’s game.
That number was released Friday and it arrived in the sum of $15,000, which is about what was expected.
On the flip side, Stafford was fined half of that ($7,500) for grabbing Moore by the helmet and throwing him to the ground.
Meanwhile, four other players were fined for various infractions in the game. Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley was fined $15,000 for his unnecessary roughness penalty when he drove Jay Cutler into the turf. Rob Sims and Kyle Vanden Bosch each were fined $7,500 for late hits while Bears receiver Earl Bennett was docked $10,000 for his second offense to the uniform code by wearing his orange shoes.
Moore likely to miss Chargers game
In an interesting twist of fate, for those who believe in retribution, Moore sprained his ankle in practice this week and is currently doubtful for the Chargers game this Sunday.
If Moore is unable to go, Corey Graham — who had an interception against the Lions while filling in for Moore after Moore was ejected — would get the first crack at replacing him. Another option would be to move Tim Jennings to the nickel back role in those situations requiring a fifth defensive back and putting Zack Bowman at Jennings’ spot on the outside.
The Bears will miss Moore’s versatility, ability to blitz, and his knack for putting himself in the right spot to make plays — although, he’s struggled to secure a few interceptions this season.
Carimi placed on IR
The Bears placed rookie offensive tackle Gabe Carimi on injured reserve Friday, ending his season after just a game and a half of action.
Carimi initially was ruled out for 4-6 weeks after suffering a knee injury against the Saints in Week 2. He returned to practice only to struggle in his recovery and then underwent a minor knee scope last week.
The Bears won’t necessarily feel Carimi’s loss unless they sustain another injury to an offensive lineman. The team has managed to work its way to a 6-3 record mostly without Carimi thanks to the development of the right side of the line with Chris Spencer at guard and Lance Louis filling in admirably at right tackle.
Tillman having great season, borderline Pro Bowl
Charles Tillman’s value to the Bears cannot be valued high enough given the veteran’s ability to punch the ball out of a ball carrier’s hands in a defensive system that puts a premium on takeaways.
As such, he’s often been underrated by both fans and players throughout the duration of his career due to the lack of plays — read: interceptions — that he makes in a system that doesn’t ask the cornerbacks to do as much as other defenses require. The cornerback’s job in the Cover 2 is to funnel the action to the inside of the field, which means linebackers and safeties are more apt to stand out.
This season, with the Bears playing far less of their base defense and more man-to-man and single-high safety coverage, Tillman’s play has stood out more and he’s receiving recognition for the Pro Bowl. He’s still not a household name among the fans, which is why he’s trailing in the fan vote — currently ranked fifth among cornerbacks — but players and coaches are taking notice and could push him into the Pro Bowl if he continues to produce like he did last week against the Lions’ Calvin Johnson.
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