I’ve been looking forward to this:
The Chicago Bears announced the activation of Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks from injured reserve on Saturday afternoon. To make room on the active roster for Hicks, tight end Ben Braunecker has been placed on injured reserve. Braunecker’s season ends weeks after being placed in concussion protocol when he was removed from the team’s win against the Giants in Week 12.
As for Hicks, he has been out of the lineup since the early stages of the Bears’ Week 5 loss to the Raiders, in which he was sidelined after an ugly elbow injury. Fast forward 69 days, and Hicks has been medically cleared to return to the lineup. Nice!
Chicago’s defense has maintained its spot in the top-10 of traditional stats, as well as Football Outsiders’ DVOA metric. But there have been times where Hicks’ presence has been missed as a pass-rusher, run-stuffer, and all-around soured of energy and excellence. Hicks is that dude, and I’m excited that he gets to play in a meaningful December football game tomorrow. So if I’m excited, I can’t imagine how his teammates feel.
And if Hicks’ return isn’t enough to get the juices going, this Star Wars themed hype video shared by YouTube user Kevin might do it for you:
Is it Sunday yet?