Akiem Hicks wasn’t the only person relieved he didn’t get suspended for Sunday’s game after making contact with an official against the Buccaneers.
“You’re talking about one of the leaders on this defense,” outside linebacker Khalil Mack said Wednesday. “Just knowing that he’s going to be out there is going to boost morale for sure.”
The Bears’ star defensive end, who has recorded three sacks in three-and-a-half games, might be the team’s best player apart from Mack.
“It’s great,” inside linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “I need him out there, man … We know he’s a good player and he don’t mean no harm. He just plays the game with extreme emotion and physicality. And if that’s the way a person is I think they should take a look at that and kind of hold back on that.”
Hicks wasn’t available to reporters Wednesday. Coach Matt Nagy said Hicks’ track record probably helped prevent a suspension.
Hicks was fined $33,425, the amount given to a first-time offender, for shoving Mike Carr, the down judge who was trying to separate him from Bucs guard Ali Marpet in the moments after safety Eddie Jackson’s second-quarter interception.
“We don’t want to lose him,” Nagy said. “So to get the news that he is gonna be playing is great news for us. But I think for all of us we use it as a learning lesson. And for Akiem to understand that, too. He knew he made a mistake. And that’s not who he is. I think his track record shows that.”
Quarterback Mitch Trubisky said he wore a blue neoprene arm sleeve on his throwing arm against the Buccaneers because he didn’t want to reopen a cut he sustained the week before against the Cardinals.
Trubisky says the cut has healed, but superstition dictates he wear a sleeve in Miami, too. Trubisky threw six touchdowns against the Bucs, falling one short of the franchise record.
Trubisky was vague about which color sleeve he’ll wear as the Bears will play with orange jerseys against the Dolphins.
“You play pretty well — some superstition, call it what you want,” he said. “I also got a lot of threats [from teammates] that I have to wear it, so … Yeah I’m going to keep it on. We’ll see what the color is. But it feels comfortable, gives me a little more swag or whatever.”
Nagy smirked when asked whether the threat of weather — specifically, strong winds — affects the first 15 plays that he scripts each week.
“We’ll probably throw the ball every play,” he said laughing.
“You think I’m going to tell you that? No. Yeah. Maybe a little bit.”
He then admitted that weather factors in “a little” when he plans out plays.