Prince Amukamara, Akiem Hicks on target to play vs. Packers

After losing Roquan Smith against the Cowboys, the return of Amukamara and Hicks could be a net gain in a crucial divisional game with the Bears’ playoff hopes hanging by a thread.

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After missing eight games with a dislocated left elbow, Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is eager to return against the Packers. “Now that I’m getting back into the flow of things, I’m starting to feel my body waking up and getting back to being an athlete again. So it’s a good feeling.”


The Bears will be without inside linebacker Roquan Smith — who is on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle — but are expected to have cornerback Prince Amukamara and defensive lineman Akiem Hicks back against the Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Amukamara, who missed the Cowboys game with a hamstring injury, practiced fully all week and is expected to start. Hicks, who has been on injured reserve after dislocating his left elbow Oct. 6 against the Raiders in London, is expected to be taken off IR on Saturday and play against the Packers.

Coach Matt Nagy, general manager Ryan Pace, team trainers and Hicks himself will have a hand in the decision to play him after missing eight games.

“Just deciding, is this the way we want to go?” Nagy said. “Is this what we want to do? I like what I’ve seen all week from him. That’s a good thing. We want to get him out there — that’s the deal.”

Second-year cornerback Kevin Toliver ably filled in for Amukamara against the Cowboys and Dak Prescott. But Amukamara’s experience figures to be needed against Aaron Rodgers, who can outsmart anyone.

“It’s big,” Nagy said, “because with some of the things they do schematically — the wide receivers they have — Prince brings a lot of experience. Having that experience against such a quality quarterback in Aaron, that’s huge.”

Injury report

Right tackle Bobby Massie will miss his third consecutive game with an ankle injury. As expected, inside linebacker Danny Trevathan (elbow), wide receiver Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion) also are out.

Defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (foot) and wide receiver Javon Wims (knee) are questionable, but Nagy said both were “arrow up.”

Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson, who suffered a head injury when he landed hard in practice Thursday, was limited Friday but is expected to play.

Super sub

Veteran Cornelius Lucas has done an admirable job in place of Massie in victories against the Lions and Cowboys — two of the Bears’ best offensive performances.

In fact, the Bears are 3-0 when Lucas starts. He was a last-minute replacement for Massie against the Redskins at FedExField on Sept. 23, when the Bears won 31-15.

“He just does his job,” Nagy said. “You go back to Washington. All of a sudden, Cornelius is going up against their best pass rusher in Ryan Kerrigan the whole game. He’s a big guy, long-levered arms, has experience. I know he’s not under-appreciated by us — but maybe [by] others out there. For him to do what he’s doing, it’s been huge for us.”

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