Akiem Hicks is a Game-Time Decision, Roquan Smith Expected to Play, and Other Encouraging Bears Notes

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Akiem Hicks is a Game-Time Decision, Roquan Smith Expected to Play, and Other Encouraging Bears Notes

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears are nearing full strength as they approach Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

Check out the latest news that is bringing a sense of optimism:

Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy informed media in London that defensive lineman Akiem Hicks would be a game-time decision after being limited in practice on Friday. Being a limited participant in practice is an upgrade for Hicks, who didn’t get on the field for either of the last two Bears practices. Hicks is officially listed as questionable to play on Sunday.

The news is a bit better (and clearer) for linebacker Roquan Smith, who Nagy said he believes will play. Smith missed last week’s game against the Vikings due to personal reasons, but informed the assembled media at Halas Hall he would be back in action this week. And while Nagy was non-committal about Smith’s return earlier, it appears as if only an unforeseen setback would keep Smith off the field for a second consecutive day.

As for the rest of the Bears injury report, here you go:

As expected, there are some notable Bears who won’t suit up. Earlier, we discussed Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and Ted Larsen (knee) who did not travel with the team, and thus, are out of action. Joining those two are defensive end Bilal Nichols (hand) and quarterback Mitch Trubisky (non-throwing shoulder). This will mark Nichols’ third consecutive missed game as he recovers from a broken hand he suffered in Week 2 against the Broncos. As for Trubisky, his being ruled out hints at the Bears preparing to call up Tyler Bray from the practice squad at some point during the weekend.

In an encouraging development, right guard Kyle Long was a full participant in Friday’s practice. Long had been limited during the previous two practices because of a bothersome hip injury that kept him out of last Sunday’s win. Perhaps being in London has helped cure what ails him.

The only trouble spot on the injury report is being inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe listed as doubtful to play against the Raiders. Iyiegbuniwe suffered a hamstring injury in Week 4 and has not practiced all week. Being listed as doubtful after not practicing all week suggests the Bears will have to look at another inside linebacker to take Iyiegbuniwe’s reps as a reserve and on the special teams unit.

Author: Luis Medina

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