Bears activate Akiem Hicks from injured reserve, setting up his return Sunday against Packers

Colleen Kane, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Football

CHICAGO -- The Bears activated defensive tackle Akiem Hicks from injured reserve Saturday as they traveled to Green Bay to face the Packers on Sunday afternoon.

Hicks hasn't played in a game since he suffered a left elbow injury Oct. 6 against the Raiders in London. He returned to practice two weeks ago, and coach Matt Nagy seemed optimistic Friday he would be ready for game action.

"Whether it's the trainers, whether it's Akiem, whether it's Ryan (Pace), myself -- (we're) just deciding, is this the way we want to go? Is this what we want to do?" Nagy said. "I like what I've seen all week long from him. That's a good thing. We want to get him out there."

The 6-foot-4, 352-pound Hicks is an eight-year NFL veteran who made the Pro Bowl for the first time last season. He had his only sack of the year and two of his three quarterback hits in the opener against the Packers on Sept. 5 at Soldier Field.

The Bears have remained a top-10 defense even without Hicks, but having him back at full strength could help this week against Aaron Rodgers. Hicks said he loves to play against the Packers quarterback and the challenges he presents.

"His ability to slip out of a sack, his ability to keep his eyes downfield," Hicks said. "Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks to play in this league. You have to respect his capabilities while remembering that you're here to put him on his back."


To clear Hicks' roster spot, the Bears placed tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion) on injured reserve. They also announced that wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and offensive lineman Bobby Massie (ankle) did not travel with the team; both had been ruled out when the Bears released their injury report Friday, as were Braunecker and inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (elbow).

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