If you’ve been worrying about Julius Peppers, don’t. Not about his health and probably not his play, either.
Regarding the latter, the Bears have a better record when the perennial Pro Bowl defensive end doesn’t have a sack. They are 13-10, winning percentage .565, when Peppers has a sack. They are 17-9, winning percentage .653 when he doesn’t, including last Sunday vs. the Cincinnati Bengals (thanks to friendly rival Michael Wright from ESPN for sharing that latter stat).
“Hey, (the Bengals) were in fast tempo, so it was really difficult to get a sack,” said linebacker James Anderson, a former Peppers teammate with the Carolina Panthers who noticed that the sky did not fall when No. 90 went sans sack. “And you’re going to have those games. You can get in a quarterback’s face, but it’s difficult to really get pressures or sacks.”
It also is difficult if you’re suffering from the flu, which was enough of a concern for Peppers to be sent home ill on Thursday. Peppers was in uniform on Friday and, “Julius worked limited today,” said coach Marc Trestman. “He’s going to be fine (on Sunday), but he worked limited in terms of the number of reps today.”
Cornerback Charles Tillman, coming off dehydration in the Cincinnati game, some knee soreness and a day off for family business, worked most of the practice if not all of the reps, Trestman said.