Akiem Hicks will not be suspended for bumping an official, but the bottom line is he should have been.
There weren’t many negatives in the Chicago Bears’ thumping of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 to 10 on Sunday afternoon. One of them, however, was that Akiem Hicks was ejected in the first half of the game after coming into contact with an official.
There was no good replay of the incident, but you can see it on this video here.
If you watch the video, at 26 seconds in, you can see Hicks and the official in each other’s faces. At that point, while the video isn’t clear, to me, it looks like Hicks arms extend which of course means he pushed him.
Hicks has a solid history of not getting into trouble with the NFL and has never done anything like this before. But contact with an official is a no-no for NFL players. It was possible that Hicks was going to be suspended for this incident, but reports surfaced otherwise.
This was a complete shock to me. My Bears’ fandom says that this is a great thing for the team. Hicks is a huge asset to the defense and if he wasn’t out there against Miami, it was going to hurt them. That being said, the objective writer in me says that this is a mistake by the NFL and Hicks should be suspended.
More from Bear Goggles On
- Franchise tag and transition tag windows open for Chicago Bears and NFL
- How the Chicago Bears can control the running back market in 2023
- The Chicago Bears can own the city of Chicago moving forward
- Chicago Bears NFL Combine Preview: Quarterback
- 7 best free agent tackle options for Chicago Bears
I’ve heard takes about how the official gets in Hicks’ face or that he was the aggressor. That may be the case, but that doesn’t matter. The official could have gone up to Hicks and told him he’s a Green Bay Packers’ fan and he’s going to call penalties on the Bears all game long and Hicks still can’t touch him.
The fact that the video is so grainy and tough to see what happened may have helped Hicks in this case. If there was clear video of him pushing an official, perhaps at that point the suspension would have been inevitable.
The bottom line is the NFL needs to protect officials. They need a clear-cut rule. If you put your hands on an official, especially in any type of aggressive manner, you need to be suspended.
Hicks may have a clean record, but if he shoved the official as it appears he does, he needs to be suspended. These are large, strong men playing a game officiated by people half their size, may of them in their 50s or 60s. The type of injury an NFL player could inflict is serious.
The rule cannot have any grey area. It needs to be black and white, and in this case, the NFL left plenty of grey area.
Hicks may have gotten away with one. This is good news for Bears fans, but if you are objective and really look at it without your Bear Goggles On (see what I did there?), the suspension should have been levied.