Akiem Hicks held court for half an hour yesterday, and during those 30 minutes spoke eloquently about many issues far greater than football.
After talking about Colin Kaepernick, the Bears' recent emotional team meeting, and the current protests happening across the country, Hicks carved out a little time to talk about his own health. The Bears' star defensive lineman only appeared in five games last season, the product of an elbow injury that put him on injured reserve after the Bears' Week 5 loss to Oakland:
"I'm excited. I'm ready to play football again. This has been a ... it's been a long time. Remember I didn't really get to play this season right? So my season kind of it wrapped up in October and then I had one last hurrah right there in December and as far as ... I played four games. I miss football. So I'm ready. My body is doing as good as it can. But man, being back on that field will probably make it feel a whole lot better."
Hicks' reassurance has got to be music to the Bears' (and their fans) ears, who are eagerly awaiting the return of one of the NFL's premier defensive lineman for a full 16+ game season:
#Bears DL Akiem Hicks finished 2019 with 9 pressures in four games - excluding Oakland, where he only played 8 snaps.— Jacob Infante (@jacobinfante24) May 30, 2020
Had he stayed healthy all year and kept that pace, he would've had 36 pressures, placing him second in the NFL behind just Aaron Donald among interior defenders.