Bears DL Akiem Hicks misses practice again; coach cites precaution
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Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks missed practice a second consecutive day Thursday with an Achilles tendon injury, but coach Matt Nagy said he wasn’t concerned.
“His is precautionary,” Nagy said. “It’s just one of those things. We just felt like with where he’s at, it would be good to give him a day and help him out there.”
Still, Hicks could be in danger of missing the first regular-season start of his Bears career, which began when he was signed before the 2016 season.
“He’s got a way to rally about himself and can kind of ignore whatever bumps and bruises he has going,” defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. “He’s a tough guy.”
Hicks first felt pain Wednesday morning, Nagy said. On Tuesday afternoon, Hicks had described himself as feeling “recuperated” after a weekend jaunt to Miami while the Bears were off.
It’s unclear if his injury is to the same foot that kept him out of last year’s preseason game against the Cardinals.
Jackson wins monthly award
Two days after being named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week, safety Eddie Jackson claimed the conference’s monthly award. He had three defensive touchdowns in November — an interception returned 41 yards against the Lions, a pick returned 27 yards against the Vikings and a fumble that he forced and returned 65 yards against the Bills.
He’s the second Bear to win NFC Defensive Player of the Month. Khalil Mack claimed the honor in September.
Helfrich on college jobs
Offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich, who is spending his first season above the college ranks, said he’s not involved in any college coaching searches.
From 2013 to 2016, Helfrich coached Oregon to a 37-16 record. His Ducks played, and lost, in the national title game after the 2014 season.
Asked if he had any desire to coach in college again, Helfrich was vague.
“I think all those things are just rabbit holes to dive down,” he said. “It’s a great byproduct of being on a good team. The same could be said of a lot of different guys. I know that this is the place we are at, and there’s no good answer for that that serves anybody — other than, I’m extremely lucky to be here and very excited to get after the Giants.”
This and that
The Bears’ injury report was the same as the day before, with two special-teams stalwarts — running back Benny Cunningham (ankle) and cornerback Sherrick McManis (hamstring) — sitting out.
“If they can’t go, we have a host of guys,” special-teams coordinator Chris Tabor said.
† Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch and tight end Adam Shaheen, who were cleared from concussion protocol, practiced in full for a second straight day.
† Giants tight end Evan Engram missed his second consecutive practice with a hamstring injury he suffered during warmups before the Eagles game Sunday.