(CBS) The Bears have placed cornerback Charles Tillman on the season-ending injured reserve list after he ruptured his right triceps in Sunday's win at San Francisco, they announced late Monday afternoon. Tillman missed the final eight games of the 2013 season with a torn right triceps muscle.
"I appreciate the kind words of encouragement and support from all the Bears fans who have reached out to me," Tillman said. "I know this feeling way too well, but this isn't the end of the road for me. As I rehab my injury, my role will transition to helping coach and support my teammates. I will be at Halas Hall and do everything I can to help our team reach its goals."
Tillman left the game in the third quarter after getting tangled up with a 49ers player along the sideline, and he didn't return. TV cameras caught shots of him shedding tears as Bears teammates walked over to console him on the bench.
"I hated it," longtime Bears teammate Lance Briggs said of Tillman's injury.
The 33-year-old Tillman is a 12-year veteran who is third in Bears history with 36 interceptions. His injury raises the question of whether his career is over, too. Tillman is working on a one-year contract with Chicago.
Rookie cornerback Kyle Fuller played a bigger role in Tillman's absence and made two crucial interceptions, but Tillman being done for the year is still a huge blow for Chicago, which is already short-handed. Reserve cornerback Sherrick McManis left Sunday's game with a quad injury and didn't return, and starting safety Chris Conte left with a left shoulder sprain and will be evaluated this week to see if he can play next Monday against the Jets.
Bears receiver Marquess Wilson has already been placed on the team's sole injured reserve/designated to return slot, so Tillman either had to go on the season-ending injured reserve or take up a spot on the 53-man active roster.
He did tweet Sunday night that he was thankful for everyone's support.
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