Akiem Hicks injuries continue to stack up with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

One of the more disappointing notes from the Chicago Bears’ loss was that in the clutch, Akiem Hicks was nowhere to be found. The announcers noted this, and the camera crew found Hicks on the sideline, with his ankle wrapped up. So, as the Steelers drove to close out the game, one of the Bears best defenders was watching.

This is unfortunate for Hicks, but at this point is becoming less and less surprising. When Hicks is on the field, he is a star, and no one is knocking his play. However, the Chicago Bears did back down from extending Hicks this offseason, and health was the main reason.

We wrote about it in the past, but when big defenders like Hicks turn 30, it is just hard for them to stay healthy and dominant as consistently as they did in their 20s. It is no shock that Hicks had a clean bill of health until 2019, his age 30 seasons.

Hicks was fine in 2020 but missed a game with an injury and saw his sack total plummet from an average of 8 over three years to just 3.5 sacks. That year he missed most of the season with an elbow injury. We wrote that while he will return, it is hard to expect him to return to the Hicks of old.

Now, Hicks is eight games into his 2021 season and has just 1.5 sacks. He already missed a game with a groin injury and now has an ankle injury.

What makes this all worse for Hicks is that it is consistently different, whether the elbow, the groin, or the ankle. It is adding up on an aging body, and it is becoming harder and harder to expect full games from him.

When Hicks plays in short doses, it is fine, but it is hard to say that he is the Hicks of old, and it is harder to think he will get back to his elite level of play any time soon.

Bears fans should enjoy the last few weeks of Hicks because this is the slow end to his prime. He probably will go somewhere else next season; it will be the smart decision.