Just when you thought the Chicago Bears were out of the woods regarding the injury report, a late arrival is thrust into play.
JJ Stankevitz of CSN Chicago reports the Bears have added defensive end Akiem Hicks to the injury report because of a foot problem. The team lists him as questionable to play in tonight’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Damn.
Hicks’ inclusion on the injury report is a significant one. He’s arguably been the Bears’ best defensive player since the start of the 2016 season and has played on more than 86 percent of the defensive snaps since last season. Hicks attracts constant double teams and attention from the opposing offense and still makes plays rushing the passer and stuffing the run. When he doesn’t beat double teams, it still allows defenders in the levels behind him to clean up and make plays.
Even though the Bears are expected to face a banged up Packers offensive line, losing Hicks would be a blow to a defense that can’t afford one if it aims to keep Aaron Rodgers in check.
Hicks has two sacks, two tackles-for-loss, a fumble recovery, and 10 total tackles from his defensive end spot. His 154 snaps are the most among Bears defensive linemen this season and ninth most among all NFL interior linemen. Hicks’ absence could lead to an increase in playing time for Mitch Unrein (97 snaps), Jonathan Bullard (64), and Roy Robertson-Harris (56).