As the anticipation of defensive lineman Akiem Hicks’ return grows, the Bears are eyeing several other injury situations heading toward their game Dec. 15 at Green Bay.
The height of the Bears’ concern is at linebacker, where Roquan Smith is likely lost for the season because of an injured chest muscle. Smith quickly was ruled out for the rest of the game after getting hurt early in the Bears’ victory Thursday against the Cowboys.
Coach Matt Nagy, who normally is as optimistic as possible about an injury, indicated from the beginning this was a bad one. The Bears are waiting on additional tests, but there’s a strong chance they will put Smith on injured reserve by Dec. 14, so they can add a player for the game against the Packers.
‘‘It doesn’t look good,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘But we have some time here to get more information on him. We’re going to do that.’’
That said, the Bears are holding out hope that linebacker Danny Trevathan will return next week. Nagy has been vague about Trevathan’s status since he suffered an apparent dislocated elbow a month ago.
While it looked at the time like the type of injury that would land Trevathan on IR, the Bears have resisted that move. Trevathan hasn’t practiced since the injury, but Nagy continues to leave the door open for him to come back this season and wouldn’t rule out the possibility he would practice next week.
‘‘I don’t know that for sure yet,’’ Nagy said.
Trevathan has been a mainstay and was one of the Bears’ most consistent defensive players at the time of his injury. He had 70 tackles in nine games, which still stands second to Smith’s 99.
The Bears plugged Nick Kwiatkoski in for Trevathan, and Kevin Pierre-Louis took over for Smith.
The Bears had two new injuries pop up in the game against the Cowboys. Backup receiver Javon Wims, starting in place of Taylor Gabriel, hurt his knee on a collision in the end zone, and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris injured his foot. Nagy said the medical staff still was evaluating both injuries.
Gabriel and tight end Ben Braunecker missed their second consecutive game and remain in the concussion protocol. Those two are considered day-to-day, as are cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) and right tackle Bobby Massie (ankle). The Bears started Kevin Toliver for Amukamara and Cornelius Lucas for Massie, and Nagy said he was pleased with how both did.