Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack injuries bear watching

Both defensive stars were valiant in overcoming injuries to play against the Packers — and each sacked Aaron Rodgers. But Hicks appeared to tweak a groin injury on his sack and played only 24 of 59 snaps.

SHARE Akiem Hicks, Khalil Mack injuries bear watching

Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks (96) sacks Aaron Rodgers for a 10-yard loss in the third quarter Sunday at Soldier Field.

David Banks/AP Photos

The availability of defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and outside linebacker Khalil Mack remains a balancing act for defensive coordinator Sean Desai and coach Matt Nagy after both gutted out injuries, with little or no practice, to make an impact against the Packers. 

Hicks had a sack of Aaron Rodgers but appeared to tweak, if not aggravate, a groin injury that kept him out of the Week 5 game against the Raiders. Hicks played only 24 of 59 defensive snaps against the Packers. 

Mack also had a sack, a quarterback hit and a tackle for loss despite not practicing at all last week because of a foot injury. He played 48 snaps Sunday (81%). 

Nagy had no update on Hicks on Monday. Hicks’ status for Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers in Tampa bears watching. 

“There’s a fine line because of where they are [health-wise],” Nagy said. “It’s important to practice as much as you can. But there is a balance to that, too, because you want them to be as healthy as they can be on Sunday. That’s where you have a lot of trust in your training staff and your communication with them.” 

No. 1 corner

Bears secondary coach Deshea Townsend lauded cornerback Jaylon Johnson for holding Packers wide receiver Davante Adams to four catches for 89 yards. Adams came in averaging eight catches for 116 yards — including 11 receptions for 206 yards the previous week against the Bengals. More significant, Adams had only five targets. He came in averaging 12.2 per game, with 16 against the Bengals. 

“I thought Jaylon had an excellent game going,” Townsend said. “We put him in some real tough positions where he had to learn to play nickel. He had to play corner. That’s not normally what he does, and he did an excellent job. When you do that, you give yourself a chance to hold a guy to [89] yards receiving who had 200 the week before.” 

Johnson was called for a pass-interference penalty against Adams — a four-yard gain on third-and-four. The Bears turned that play into the league for review. 

“I’d [like] to see what they say because a lot of times I just ask them, ‘What can I teach them different?’ ” Townsend said. “We’ll find out.” 


The Bears had four running backs in for tryouts Monday: Duke Johnson (Miami), T.J. Logan (North Carolina), C.J. Marable (Coastal Carolina) and Chris Thompson (Florida State). 

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