A Suspension for Akiem Hicks is Possible After Ref-Shoving Incident in Week 4

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A Suspension for Akiem Hicks is Possible After Ref-Shoving Incident in Week 4

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears can take a load off with the bye week being here, but one of the team’s key defensive players might be getting some additional time off

Rich Campbell and Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune report that Hicks faces a fine and possibly a suspension after being ejected during the first half of the Bears’ win against the Buccaneers in Week 4. After the game, referee Jerome Boger said the down judge was “breaking up a skirmish” between two players, and after the players were separated, Hicks came through and pushed him.

Here is a brief video snippet of Hicks making contact with the official Boger refers to that led to the ejection:

Hicks’ fine will be reportedly at least $33,425, but a suspension could really throw a wrench in things.

Outside of Khalil Mack, Hicks has been the Bears’ best and most productive member of the front seven and is arguably the team’s second most valuable player on the defensive side of the ball. Hicks clogs running lanes, forces the pocket to collapse with his pass-rush skills, and attracts extra attention that frees up other players. Losing for Hicks, even if it’s just for one game, is a considerable blow a Bears defense firing on all cylinders four games into the season.

We’ll learn Hicks’ fate soon enough, but at least there is plenty of time for Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio to come up with a plan of attack against the Bears’ next opponent. Chicago travels to Miami in Week 6 to play a Dolphins team that will be without left guard Josh Sitton and center Daniel Kilgore, who suffered a torn triceps on Sunday and is likely out for the season.

Not that it’s any consolation (because losing your best defensive lineman absolutely stinks), but at least the Bears appear to have the depth to be able to combat the loss of Hicks if the suspension was limited to just one game. Chicago could roll out a starting defensive line featuring Roy Robertson-Harris starting in place of Hicks next to nose tackle Eddie Goldman and opposite fellow defensive end Jonathan Bullard. Rookie Bilal Nichols could also be a factor. Nichols has made some splash plays in the running game and could be in line to eat a chunk of the playing time left behind by Hicks.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.