Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks can take the first step in his return from a dislocated left elbow by practicing with the Bears on Sunday.
“We’re hoping that he’s able to come back this week and start practicing,” coach Matt Nagy said Friday. “So that’s kind of the goal.”
Can Hicks’ elbow make it through a full practice?
“That, I don’t know,” Nagy said. “I guess we’ll see.”
Hicks won’t be eligible to return to game action until Week 15 against the Packers. He hurt his elbow against the Raiders on Oct. 6 and was put on injured reserve Oct. 15.
Before the elbow injury, he sat out of the Bears’ fourth game with a knee injury. He returned the next week but left in the first quarter after his left elbow got pinned between teammate Khalil Mack’s helmet and Raiders running back Josh Jacobs and bent in the wrong direction.
Hicks’ return makes sense as long as the Bears are mathematically alive for a long-shot playoff chance.
“It’d be huge — any time you have a guy that is the type of player he is, the type of leader he is, what he’s meant,” Nagy said. “I like the way he’s handled himself here in the last, whatever it is, seven or eight weeks. He’s done a great job at being around and being a great teammate and a leader and mentor to all these younger guys.
“It’s exciting when you get to this point. It does feel like forever ago, but hopefully we can get that moving forward.”
Against the Lions on Thanksgiving, the Bears scored a touchdown on their first possession for only the second time this year. Credit kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson, who caught the ball seven yards deep into the Bears’ end zone and returned it to midfield.
Patterson brought the ball out in part because the Bears thought the Lions might be gassed. They had kicked off once already, but it was redone after offsetting penalties.
“It’s hard to cover a kickoff twice,” Nagy said. “That’s a key element: field position. The last couple of games, we have been behind the sticks on offense with field position.”
Mitch is fine
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky took a helmet-to-helmet hit in the first quarter and went to the injury tent in the fourth quarter to have his head checked after a sack.
“I answered some questions: ‘We’re in Detroit. It’s Thanksgiving,’ ” he said.
Nagy said Friday he came out just fine.
“There were some good shots in that game,” Nagy said. “He’s tough, though — he’s a tough kid.”