Jordan Hicks missed all but four games of the 2012 season at Texas with a groin injury, then missed all of 2013 with a torn Achilles. He missed eight games as a rookie in 2015 with a torn pec and then missed nine games and the postseason last year with another Achilles.
So over the last six years, he’s played in 48 games and missed 42.
When he’s played, he’s been very good. But that’s a season-ending injury four of the last six years, and so far Hicks’ accomplishments have been overshadowed by the games he’s missed.
Hicks spoke Tuesday about how frustrating the injuries have been and how important it is for him to find a way to stay healthy.
“I don’t think I need to do that for anybody else but myself,” he said. “I want to play this game. I love playing the game of football, I love being out there with the guys, and when I’m not out there — and I think everybody feels this way when they can’t help the team — you feel like you’re letting down the team because you know you can be out there making an impact.
“So it’s more disappointing to me than … anyone else. I have to make sure I’m out there. My motivation is within. And obviously it stems from the guys around me. I want to have that accountability and let the guys know I’ll be there for them no matter what.”
Hicks, a third-round pick in 2015, has seven interceptions, two sacks, five fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 31 NFL games.
“I don’t have any question in my mind that if I’m healthy I’ll be productive,” he said.
Hicks got hurt last year in the second Washington game. He had been dealing with a left ankle injury for several weeks when he blew out his right ankle.
“I think that had something to do with it, but I’m a professional athlete and if you put me in a position to go play then I’m going to compete as hard as I can,” he said.
“That’s just my makeup and I think that’s the makeup of this locker room.
“When you’re dealing with one thing, you’re susceptible to another. That’s just the way your body works. As I become a pro and as I’ve become a pro, you’ve got to learn there’s a level of being smart and understanding when enough is enough and when you have to say no at some point.
“Whether it’s pride or whether it’s the things in my head, those questions have to be answered. I decided not to come out, I decided to tough it out. I played vs. the [Chargers, Panthers and Cardinals]. All with a bum ankle, and at the end of the day, hindsight is 20/20.”
Hicks is six months out from his latest injury but as voluntary minicamp begins, he declined to put a timetable on his return.
“Doing really well,” he said. “It feels like since Day 1 I’ve been ahead of schedule. Currently progressing every day, trying to get stronger, constantly trying to get my explosion back.”
Hicks, whose contract is up after this coming season, knows his value will depend tremendously on his ability to stay healthy.
“If I focus on what I need to do every single day, if I focus on getting back and focus when I’m back on making sure I’m detailing my work and I’m taking care of my body, everything is going to fall into place,” he said.
“When you start worrying about everything else is when you get out of your game, and that’s when you can really start forcing issues.”