Bears’ Akiem Hicks ‘very optimistic’ he’ll return this year

Akiem Hicks, who spoke on his weekly paid appearance on “Waddle and Silvy,” said he’s “very optimistic” he can return this season from a left elbow injury that put him on IR last week.

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Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks watched Sunday’s game from the sideline.

Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks watched Sunday’s game from the sideline.

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks thinks he’ll be able to return when his injured reserve stint ends in seven weeks.

“I feel great,” Hicks said Monday on ESPN 1000. “I’m optimistic about the time frame of getting back on the field. I’m really taking this experience as more of a learning experience than anything.”

Hicks, who spoke on his weekly paid appearance on “Waddle and Silvy,” said he’s “very optimistic” he can return this season from a left elbow injury that put him on IR last week. He’s eligible to play starting in Week 15.

“Hopefully we’ll be getting ready for the playoffs,” he said.

He called rehab “a grind,” though his elbow is only lifting 1 lb. weights.

The Bears’ run defense struggled mightily the last two games without its Pro Bowl player, allowing 100-yard rushers in back-to-back losses. Hicks, who was hurt on the Raiders’ first drive in London, said he understood why fans booed the Saints loss Sunday.

“You have the right to boo,” he said. “Just know that this team cares about football.”

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