Charles Tillman isn’t worried about missing this Sunday’s game, but it’s definitely a possibility. The Chicago Bears star’s wife is scheduled to deliver their new baby on Monday. If the baby comes early, however, Tillman will be missing the game against the Houston Texans.
“The wife is due any day, so hopefully this baby can stay in until after the game on Sunday. I hope she stays in — I’m having another girl. Monday, for sure, but if she comes Sunday, I think I’m going to have to be at the hospital Sunday. So, I hope she stays in until after Sunday.”
ESPN reports that Tillman’s daughter Tiana was born with a weak heart and needed a transplant back in 2008. The NFL player said that his experience with Tiana proved to him that football would always take a backseat to family.
“At the end of the day, (family is) all you have. This game is important to me, but after what we went through with my middle child (Tiana), to me football will always be second or third in my life. That was a great lesson learned to teach me that when I’m done playing football my family will still always be there for me.”
Tillman is having a phenomenal season, and the Bears will definitely miss his presence on Sunday if the baby comes early. Still, Tillman’s teammates are standing behind their star player.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall told NFL.com:
“It’s take care of your family. We understand how things are run around here … This is a special group. Coach (Lovie) Smith is a special guy, definitely in how he runs things, and — you take on the character of your leader. That’s what he preaches — family comes first.”
Coach Lovie Smith said:
“It’s family first … If there is something you feel like you need to do for your family, always do that. How we look at it is like an injury. If a player can’t go, it’s next guy up. We’ll keep going.”
Tillman has returned two interceptions for touchdowns this year, has forced 7 fumbles, and has 37 solo tackles. He was named the NFC defensive player of the month for October and, most importantly, will become a father for the fourth time on Monday.