Joniak: Bears' Akiem Hicks Hopeful He'll Return

Jeff Joniak
December 02, 2019 - 8:30 pm
Akiem Hicks

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Jeff Joniak filed these observations Monday from Halas Hall as the Bears prepare to play the Cowboys later this week:

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--Defensive tackle Akiem Hicks made it through his first significant practice since dislocating his left elbow in London against the Raiders. “We’re testing it right now,” Hicks said. “We’re making sure that it can do the moves that I am accustomed to doing. Giving it our best shot.”

--From Roy Robertson-Harris, to Bilal Nichols, to Eddie Goldman, to Nick Williams, every defensive lineman appreciates Hicks, and he appreciates them. “I’ve got to give credit to the guys that stepped in, in my absence,” Hicks said. "For guys to step in and have that kind of production, that’s great.”

--Starting cornerback Prince Amukamara missed Monday’s practice with a sore hamstring. Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and tight end Ben Braunecker remain sidelined in concussion protocol. Right tackle Bobby Massie remains out with an ankle sprain.

--Linebacker Danny Trevathan is working his way back from his elbow injury and is making good progress according to Nagy. “Right now, he’s in a good place and we’ll just keep him going and see where it ends up taking us.”

--Roquan Smith’s fantastic stretch of five games includes 51 tackles, 2 sacks and 4 tackles-for-loss. The Smith “swag” is back in his game, and the defense is benefitting. He is a key figure in stopping Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott Thursday night.

--Both Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich threw bouquets at the Dallas defensive front seven. The expectation is the Cowboys will create pass pressure to challenge quarterback Mitch Trubisky. “These guys are elite, elite, elite in that regard,” said Helfrich. “Every O-line gets beat by these guys. Every quarterback get’s sacked … hit by these guys. You’ve got to weather that storm. You’ve got to step up and run.”

--A confident Mitch Trubisky is necessary against the Cowboys building on what good was done -- and repair, learn from, and erase the bad.

--Leonard Floyd earned Nagy’s “Sweeping the Sheds” award after the win over the Lions. He left the game for X-rays on sore ribs, returned and finished the game, gutting it out.   “He said there would have to be bone showing for him to come out of the game,” said defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano.

--Floyd is not racking up big sack numbers, but both Pagano and Nagy spoke of his all-around play, and selflessness in helping the defense. They feel he is doing his job.

--The Bears need to start fast Thursday night. The Cowboys are winless in six games trailing at halftime, while the Bears are 4-and-1 leading at halftime this season. Kick a team when they're down. The Cowboys have lost six-of-nine games and appear to be on an emotional rollercoaster.

Jeff Joniak is the play-by-play announcer for the Bears broadcasts on WBBM Newsradio 780 & 105.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter @JeffJoniak.