The Bears on Thursday placed veteran defensive tackle Akiem Hicks on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
After missing four games with an ankle injury he sustained Nov. 8 against the Steelers, Hicks returned with a vengeance Monday night versus the Vikings, registering five tackles, 2.0 sacks, two tackles-for-loss and four quarterback hits. It was his first multi-sack outing since Oct. 9, 2017 when he registered two in a loss to Minnesota.
Hicks' presence on the field Monday night at Soldier Field was evident to all.
"You saw the game that he had," said coach Matt Nagy. "You could feel it. You know that opposing [offenses] are always completely aware of where he's at, and there's impact plays in there. When you're out there making those plays, you're helping out the second level, you're helping out the third level. He's done that his entire time here in Chicago. We appreciate that, we know that and I think you felt that [Monday] night."
Hicks, who is in the final year of his contract with the Bears, celebrated his first sack of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins by pointing to the fans in the stands.
"I was pointing to the people that cheered for me, the people that love me, the people that love how I play the game," Hicks said Monday night. "I was pointing to them, letting them know I appreciate them for my time. They're always yelling my name. I'm going to show some love back."
After spending his first four NFL seasons with the Saints (2012-15) and Patriots (2015), Hicks signed with the Bears in 2016. He has since started all 76 games he's played over six years, registering 245 tackles, 51 tackles-for-loss and 31.0 sacks. This season, Hicks has started eight contests, compiling 23 tackles, five tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks.
With the addition of Hicks, the Bears now have 10 players on the COVID-19 list. The others are running back Ryan Nall, receivers Allen Robinson II and Isaiah Coulter, tight ends Jesse James and Jesper Horsted, defensive end Bilal Nichols, inside linebacker Joel Iyiegbuniwe, cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Tashaun Gipson Sr.