With Akiem Hicks injured and missing from the Chicago Bears’ defense last year they went from being the number one DVOA ranked D in 2018 to the number eight in 2019. Him being absent for 11 games wasn’t all that ailed the team a year ago, but they certainly missed his mammoth presence in the middle of their front line. His ability to draw double teams and still stand his ground, coupled with his ability to quickly shoot gaps makes him one of the most important defenders on the team.
But he now appears to be fully healed from the elbow injury he suffered a year ago and opposing offensive linemen should be afraid.
The following video was originally shared via Hicks’ Instagram account.
Great news from Akiem Hicks who posted on his Instagram that his elbow is feeling better.— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) May 8, 2020
This was his first bench press without a brace on since the injury.
(Via @akiem_hicks/Instagram) pic.twitter.com/SHSzhkPiFI
That’s over three-hundred pounds that Akiem is pushing around with ease and it’s the first time he was benching without an elbow brace.
After initially missing time with a knee injury which he suffered during their week three win against Washington, Hicks returned to play in London against the Raiders after sitting out only one game.
For a reminder of what happened on the eighth play of that game you can peep out the video below.
Hicks went on injured reserve, but returned to play against the Packers on December 15.
After battling through the pain to appear in 36 plays that afternoon the Bears decided to shut him down for the remainder of the 2019 season.
With Hicks back, fully healed, and ready to wreak havoc from the interior of the Bears defensive line, edge defenders Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn have to be salivating at the thought of attacking quarterbacks.