With running back Verron Haynes expected to dress Sunday against the Bears, that could mean either Duce Staley or Jerome Bettis will be de-activated. Those two backs, along with starter Willie Parker, dressed the past two games, with Haynes being de-activated. Staley has been used as a third-down back, a spot usually held down by Haynes, who also plays special teams.
Bettis was asked if he was eager to face the top-ranked Bears defense.
"Not eager," he said, smiling. "If I could pick one, I probably wouldn't pick this defense."
Bettis also said he offered advice to Parker, who fumbled twice against the Bengals.
"Forget it, forget about it," Bettis told Parker.
Parker, who will make his 12th start of the season, said the fumbles are a dead issue.
"That's last game; we ain't talking about that anymore."
QB Charlie Batch (finger), RT Max Starks (knee) and LB/special teams ace Andre Frazier (hamstring) were upgraded from questionable to probable yesterday. Batch reported that the pinkie finger on his throwing hand, which has forced him out of the past three games, responded well the past two practices.
CB Ike Taylor is familiar with Bears CB Charles Tillman. For half their senior season at Louisiana-Lafayette, the two formed a dynamic duo.
"We ran that 4-4 defense, so we had a lot of man coverage," Taylor said.
Tillman was moved to safety for the second half of the year and drafted in the second round by Chicago, where he immediately became a starter. Taylor, a fourth-round pick, didn't play CB until his senior year of college. He said Tillman helped him attract the attention of scouts.
"They were looking at him, and they were like, 'Who's this other guy, Ike Taylor?'" The two haven't stayed in touch, but, says Taylor, "We knew, sooner or later, we'd see each other. I know come Sunday, there'll be a whole lot of trash-talking out there."