The Bears will spend the coming days determining whether to put defensive lineman Akiem Hicks on injured reserve with a left-elbow injury he suffered against the Raiders. Doing so would sideline Hicks for a minimum of eight weeks.
“Working through all that,” coach Matt Nagy said Monday. “I think that’s gonna be important here in the next couple of days for us to decide what’s the best thing for that.
“For us, you’ve always gotta start with the player, and then you’ve gotta see how it is for us as a team, then you put them together and figure out what’s best. I think I have ultimate trust in our doctors and Andre Tucker, our trainer, and then talking to Akiem, where he’s at.”
Nagy wouldn’t say whether Hicks dislocated his elbow when it was trapped between teammate Khalil Mack and Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, but replays made it appear as though he did.
The Bears figure to get some reinforcements on the defensive line — Bilal Nichols returned to practice Monday for the first time since breaking his hand against the Broncos. He figures to wear a cast with his fingers exposed.
“It’s hard,” Nichols said. “[Hicks] pretty much molded me into the young player I am. It just hurt to see him go through that and catch those types of breaks because I know how hard he worked. The best thing I can do is just continue to grow and do whatever I can to make things easier on everybody else.”
Nagy is ready to welcome Nichols back, even with the cast.
“If you’re able to be out there and you’re able to suit up and go out there, then to me, ‘Let’s go,’ ” Nagy said.
Wide receiver Taylor Gabriel returned to practice for the first time since his concussion in Week 3 against the Redskins — a game that saw him catch three touchdown passes.
Even though the Bears had a light practice, Gabriel couldn’t resist the urge to go full-bore.
“I probably practiced the hardest I’ve ever practiced in my life,” he said. “I just had fun, and I’m glad I’m back.”
Gabriel, who figures to play Sunday, said he didn’t feel normal until “I just woke up and felt like myself” last week.
“The one thing Taylor brings is he has that one element of downfield speed that helps out, so you’re able to take the top off of some defenses with him,” Nagy said. “And then he’s one of those wide receivers for us, like Allen Robinson, he’s got experience. So there’s a calming in the huddle that you understand that he knows what to do against certain coverages. And he’s coming off a pretty good game in Washington.”
This and that
Guard Ted Larsen (knee) practiced for the first time since getting hurt against the Vikings.
† The Bears promoted defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson to the active roster after putting guard Kyle Long on injured reserve with a hip injury. Tight end Dax Raymond, who spent training camp with the Bears, joined the practice squad.