Bears head coach Matt Nagy said Friday he's hopeful defensive lineman Akiem Hicks can return to practice this week.

Hicks suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 5's game against the Oakland Raiders and landed on injured reserve Oct. 15. NFL requires players to spend a minimum of eight weeks on IR before they can be activated. This means the earliest Hicks can return to game action is Week 15, when the Bears take on the Packers in Green Bay (Dec. 15).

The Bears' defense hasn't been the same without Hicks, who has six tackles and a sack in four games this season. They also lost linebacker Danny Trevathan to a gruesome elbow injury in Week 10, leaving them without two of their top defensive players. 

Whether Hicks comes off IR for the Green Bay game is to be seen, but returning to practice would be a big step in the right direction. 

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