Akiem Hicks takes solace in fans’, peers’ approval after Pro Bowl miss
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With a smile on his face, Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks didn’t hide his disappointment at not making the Pro Bowl.
“Man, it’s like telling a kid he ain’t getting no presents for Christmas — you know what I mean? Hicks said Wednesday. “But I’ll be all right. I’ll survive as long as the fans in Chicago treat me as one of their favorite players, I’ll be happy.”
The Bears were shut out of the Pro Bowl voting for the third consecutive season, but had four players chosen as alternates. Hicks was named a fourth alternate. Running back Jordan Howard is a first alternate. Kick returner Tarik Cohen and guard Kyle Long are second alternates. Long is on injured reserve.
As a 3-4 defensive end on a 4-10 team, Hicks knew he faced long-shot odds to make the team. He leads the Bears with eight sacks. The next step for him is to play on a winning team.
“It doesn’t really work out when you don’t have. Record to match the performance, right?” Hicks said. “I lay it out there every Sunday. But the respect of your peers is something you always want. My little high-fives after the game with other guys that play my position and stuff like that … gives me enough respect to carry me over this offseason.”
And that’s not all he has to hang his hat on this season.
“My mom told me I did my job this year,” Hicks said. “So I’ll take that with me.”
Safety Adrian Amos, who has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury, had full participation in practice Wednesday. Amos had played in 42 of 43 games in his three NFL seasons before suffering the injury.
“I love football. So when I can’t play it hurts,” Amos said. “I’ve never really missed a game [for injury], so when you’ve got to sit out it makes you appreciate the game and how much you love it.”
Guard Josh Sitton (ankle) did not practice. Tight end Adam Shaheen (chest), wide receiver Josh Bellamy (foot), guard Tom Compton (concussion) and safety Chris Prosinski (concussion) were limited.
When Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski dominates a game like he did Sunday against the Steelers, Shaheen notices even more than most.
Gronkowski had nine receptions for 168 yards, including three consecutive receptions of 26, 26 and 17 yards on the game-winning drive — plus a reception on the two-point conversion. Shaheen still leads Gronkowski in touchdowns vs. the Steelers this season, 1-0.
“He was pretty phenomenal in that final stretch,” Shaheen said. “It’s pretty cool to see. Just the tenacity, playing hard and leaving it all out there.”
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