The Houston Texans are prepping for “Peanut.” But Bears cornerback Charles Tillman and his wife, Jackie, are prepping for the birth of their fourth child, which may come Sunday.
“The wife is due any day, so hopefully this baby can stay in until after the game on Sunday,” he said during an interview Wednesday morning on WSCR-AM 670.
“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.”
After practice at Halas Hall on Wednesday, Tillman declined to talk much about his situation, but did say if Jackie gives birth to their daughter Sunday morning he would play that evening against the Texans.
“I’ll be there,” he said.
Tillman, though, would be willing to miss the game should Jackie be in labor Sunday night. Bears coach Lovie Smith has always told his team that family comes first, which he reiterated on Wednesday.
“At the end of the day, that’s all that you have,” Tillman said. “To me, this game is important to me, but after what we went through with my middle child Tiana, to me football is second.
“It’ll always be second or third in my life. That was a great lesson learned, to teach me that family, when I’m done playing football, my family will always be there for me.”
Tiana was diagnosed with a rare heart disease when she was three months old and needed a heart transplant.
Receiver Brandon Marshall said Tillman would have the full support of his teammates should he miss the game against the Texans.
“You take on the character of your leader,” Marshall said. “Coach Smith since Day 1 in my own personal business, he’s always preached family first. Whether I had to go out of town in OTAs to visit a family member or do something with family, it’s no argument. It’s take care of your family.
“We understand how things are run around here. This is a special group. Coach Smith is a special guy, definitely in how he runs things, and like I said you take on the character of your leader. That’s what he preaches — family comes first.”