Bears

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl prepares for return after tragic loss

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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl prepares for return after tragic loss

On Sept. 7, 2011, an immense tragedy struck the hockey community when a plane carrying the KHL's Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crashed, initially leaving only two survivors among the 45 players and coaches on board. Five days later, one of those rescued from the wreck, died, leaving flight engineer Alexander Sizov the sole survivor.

The team went from being a member of Russia's top league to playing in the second-ranked Russian Major League (VHL) beginning in December of 2011 and throughout the remainder of the 2011-12 season.

It's been nearly a year since the devastating crash, and the team is ready to rebuild itself on and off the ice.

An August preseason game in the KHL typically wouldn't attract a large crowd by any means, but when Lokomotiv Yaroslavl took the ice this week, over 3,000 people packed the arena to watch the team come back and recover after experiencing so much sadness.

As so much hope and inspiration filled the rink from supporters, new head coach Tom Rowe realized the impact the team had on its fans and the importance of producing positive results throughout the season, both for statistical and personal reasons.

"It's a great inspiration," he said. "I knew Brad McCrimmon the Lokomotiv coach who died in last year's air disaster very well and we have to ensure we have a very good season.

"We want to make the team and the city proud. There's an incredible fan base, and the team and the organization has a lot to live up to."

Lokomotiv's new, young team was unable to beat CSKA in their preseason matchup, but the players showed a high level of on-ice talent and looked promising to those watching from the sidelines.

Former Blackhawks defender Sami Lepisto is one of the latest additions to the team. He had appeared in 26 games for Chicago last season, including three of six playoff games against the Coyotes.

The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team was establish in 1959 and has since won the Russian Open Championship in 1997, 2002 and 2003.

Bears place Akiem Hicks on injured reserve

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Bears place Akiem Hicks on injured reserve

The Chicago Bears placed DL Akiem Hicks on injured reserve (elbow), the team announced Tuesday. In a corresponding move, rookie guard Alex Bars was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster.

Hicks suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 5's loss to the Raiders and was expected to miss a significant amount of time. He'll be eligible to return for the team's final three games in 2019, assuming he recovers in time.

His void in the lineup will likely be filled by Roy Robertson-Harris, who's thrived with more playing time while Bilal Nichols recovered from his hand injury. Nichols is set to return to the lineup Sunday against the Saints.

Hicks' absence was felt in London against Oakland when rookie RB Josh Jacobs ran for 123 yards in a game that Hicks was mostly sidelined for. The Bears will need multiple players, including second-level linebackers like Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan, to step up now that Hicks will be gone for a while.

 

 

Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

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Eddie Jackson says the Bears defense has to 'make a statement game' against Saints

The Bears defense gave up a season-high 24 points in the Week 5 loss to the Raiders. The bye week that followed meant they had to stew on that performance for an extra seven days.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson admitted the defense “didn’t hold up” in an interview on the Mully & Haugh Show on 670 The Score on Tuesday morning. It sounds like they are fired up to not have a repeat performance against the Saints.

“We want to get that bad taste out of our mouths,” Jackson said. “Unfortunately, we had to wait for a bye week.

“Now we got to make a statement game here at home.”

That statement game will have to come without stud defensive lineman Akiem Hicks. Hicks got injured in the loss to the Raiders and is expected to miss significant time.

Jackson talked about what Hicks’ absence will mean to the defense.

“That’s a tough loss for us,” Jackson said. “The style of play Akiem brings is hard to fill. Right now we’re doing a good job holding up with guys coming in and stepping up, but at the end of the day that’s Akiem. His resume speaks for itself. What he does speaks for itself. Film, everything. It’s a tough loss, man. We’re hoping to have him back real soon for playoffs or the end of the season. It really hurts us, but we ride with him. He still comes around. He’s still engaged and meetings and things like that.”

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