Back in 2019, a clearly less than 100 percent Akiem Hicks came off IR to make the trek to Lambeau Field to play the Packers. Hicks gutted out an elbow injury that was still bothering him to play 61 percent of the defense’s snaps in his return. Sure, the Bears ultimately lost that game by 21-13 score. And it put an end to dreams of making consecutive postseasons. But that Hicks pushed through to play sticks with me to this day.
All that to say it isn’t a surprise to see Hicks listed as questionable to play on Sunday against the Packers. Because even though Hicks didn’t play last week and sat out four of the last six practice, a questionable designation is an upgrade from not practicing. In other words, you better believe Hicks will do everything in his power to play on Sunday. Because that is who he has shown himself to be since joining this team. A high-value glue guy who makes things go. And in the end, if Hicks can’t go, then you know his injury is serious enough to keep him out.
As for the rest of the final injury report of Bears-Packers week:
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) October 15, 2021
• Justin Fields doesn’t even have a game designation next to his name, which means he’ll be a full go for his first ever Bears-Packers experience. Giddy up!
• Christian Jones (back), Darnell Mooney (groin), and Danny Trevathan (knee) join Fields as being full participants in Friday’s practice with no game day designation. This assortment of players are a green light to play against Green Bay on Sunday. This is a pleasant development.
• There are nine (!) other players joining Hicks as questionable to play in Sunday’s Week 6 showdown. At first blush, that is an eye-popping number. And if you simply look at the image from the Bears, the sheer number of questionable might give you pause. But let’s sort through the mess. Firstly, six players who are “questionable” were full participants in Friday’s practice. In other words, Eddie Jackson (knee), Artie Burns (foot), Ryan Nall (ankle), Joel Iyiegbuniwe (hamstring), Duke Shelley (ankle), and Xavier Crawford (back) are good to go from a health standpoint.
• It’s nice to see Allen Robinson II join Hicks as practicing on Friday, even if it came with limitations.
• Caleb Johnson (knee) and J.P. Holtz (quad) being ruled out already points to the seriousness of their injuries. Seeing that the Bears had five tight ends for tryouts earlier in the week might suggest the Holtz deal might be something worth tracking. For what it’s worth, they didn’t sign any of those players. Maybe we’ll see more Alex Bars play the role of blocking tight end.
• Khalil Mack did not practice for a third consecutive day. Just as things were last week, Mack is “questionable” to play on Sunday. Hopefully, three days off is nothing more than maintenance for the sack machine. Chicago needs all hands on deck in the pass-rusher department this week.