Chicago Bears: How an Akiem Hicks extension can help the offensive line

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Chicago Bears, Akiem Hicks
Chicago Bears (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

We are one day away from the Chicago Bears’ first preseason game. On Saturday, we will watch the Chicago Bears take on the Miami Dolphins. It will be the first time that we can actually see the Bears in action and not have to count on Patrick Finley’s drawings that look like my seven-year-old drew them.

Reports are that Justin Fields put on a show in the red zone drills today. Let us hope that we can see some more of that, and even something from Andy Dalton, on Saturday. This make-shift offensive line is not ideal. The two outside tackle positions are the problem and I just do not trust Elijah Wilkinson to be the answer on the left side. I have talked about how to solve this problem over and over again, but Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace seem content. I just do not get it.

Could an Akiem Hicks signing help the Chicago Bears offensive line?

All we keep hearing about is how the team is not concerned with Teven Jenkins, how they even knew about his back issues prior to being drafted. Well, that’s great, but his back problems were not a major issue in college, but now that he’s in the NFL, Jenkins cannot even practice. Without these important reps, the Chicago Bears are at a loss at left tackle. Their backup option is far worse than what the team had last season in Charles Leno. Maybe Larry Borom can handle it?

That’s right, the fifth-round draft pick was put on the left side and apparently doing well before suffering a concussion. What is a little surprising is the fact that Teven Jenkins is ahead of Borom on the unofficial depth chart. Do the Chicago Bears believe he will be available for the preseason game versus Miami on Saturday? I doubt it. Will Borom clear concussion protocol because he’s behind Wilkinson too. Maybe.

This team should be concerned with the right side too. Germain Ifedi is dealing with a hip flexor and also has not practiced. With both offensive tackles unhealthy, this team is in for a world of pain if they don’t find help elsewhere or if the backups can’t handle the load. All signs point to the offensive line struggling to stop any pass rush in training camp — including versus the Dolphins in both joint practices this week.

At least on the defensive side of the ball, the defensive line is stacked from the starters through to even the backups. Both Bilal Nichols and Akiem Hicks are playing in what would be considered contract years. Nichols is coming to the end of his rookie deal. He has proved himself enough to earn a second contract. He does not deserve top money, but should definitely be paid. Hicks is at the opposite end, likely earning his last or second-to-last contract. Will he stay in Chicago?