Bears' injured CB Charles Tillman 'wants to go out like' Mariano Rivera

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Tillman struggled to contain Calvin Johnson on Sunday. (USATSI)

Bears cornerback Charles Tillman, placed on IR with designation to return after tearing his right triceps during Sunday’s 21-19 loss to Detroit, isn’t done playing football. In fact, according to the 11-year-veteran, he’s nowhere near done.

“Mariano Rivera – I want to go out like him,” Tillman said on Chicago’s 670 the Score on Thursday. “He got hurt and said ‘Naw, I’m not going out like that, I’ll be back.’ That’s my goal. I can’t go out with an injury and just call it quits. I can’t do that.”

“My goal for going out, as far as retiring from this game, I want to go out like Ray Lewis. He knew he’d play his last game at the Baltimore Ravens stadium. I don’t dance as cool as he does, but he went around and it was like this joyous occasion. …To me, that’s going out with style. That’s going out with class.”

The Bears have been decimated with injuries this season and Tillman’s is just the latest setback to a normally punishing defense. The two-time Pro Bowler can return to practice in six weeks and can play in a game in eight weeks, meaning he’ll only take the field again this season if Chicago, currently 5-4, can squeeze itself into the playoffs. That will obviously be more difficult given that Jay Cutler suffered another injury, this time a high-ankle sprain. 

Tillman said that although a move to safety might prolong his career, he has no intentions on switching positions, and he plans to play a few more years. At 32, he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season – less than ideal timing for the lockdown corner. Still, Tillman is the only player since 2003 to force 40 fumbles (42) and log 30 interceptions (36). 

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