The Chicago Bears rush defense will need contributions from its depth pieces in order to contain Dalvin Cook and the Minnesota Vikings rushing attack this afternoon.
Bears DT Akiem Hicks, a key part of Chicago’s run defense, is not expected to play today against Dalvin Cook and the Vikings, sources say. Hicks injured his knee in Monday Night’s game and didn’t practice all week.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) September 29, 2019
ESPN’s Dan Graziano reports Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is not expected to play in today’s NFC North showdown against the Vikings. Hicks suffered a knee injury late in the Bears’ win on Monday Night Football at Washington and was held out of practice all week. And while Hicks was listed as “questionable” on the injury report, it appears he isn’t in a position to give it a full go this week.
Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano will have to get creative if his unit is going to slow down the NFL’s top rushing attack. The Bears are now without two starting defensive lineman as Hicks joins Bilal Nichols (broken hand) as being out of action. This leaves Nick Williams, Abdullah Anderson, and Jonathan Harris (who was promoted from the practice squad on Saturday) in line to take some snaps in Hicks’ absence. Perhaps we could see some outside-of-the-box packages that feature outside linebacker Aaron Lynch on the field more often. Maybe we will see Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd deployed differently to show Minnesota’s offense different looks. Losing a Pro Bowl caliber defender such as Hicks stings, but the Bears have some other pieces who could be slid around the field to get in on the action.
We’ll have more on today’s matchup as the day goes on.