Bears Rumors

Bears Designate Akiem Hicks For Return

The Bears have designated Akiem Hicks for return from injured reserve, per a club announcement. Per league rules, the move will allow the defensive tackle to return sometime after the Bears’ Thursday night game against the Cowboys.

Hicks suited up and practiced on Sunday, for the first time since early October. The veteran hasn’t been on the field since suffering an elbow injury in London against the Raiders.

The Pro Bowl defensive tackle is a key cog in Chicago’s elite defense. Last year, he notched 7.5 sacks, a strong follow-up to his career high of 8.5 quarterback takedowns in 2017.

Hicks signed a four year, $48MM extension with the Bears in September of 2017, a deal that included $22MM fully guaranteed at signing. Next year, he’s slated to count for an $11.8MM cap hit, but the Bears could also cut him to save $8.8MM against $3MM in dead money.

At 6-6, the Bears are fighting to hold on to their paper-thin playoff hopes. At minimum, Hicks can solidify his place on the roster with a strong finish to the year. He’ll turn 31 in November of 2020, a year in which he’s slated to count for nearly 6% of the team’s total cap room.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Allen Robinson Expects Extension Talks

Allen Robinson sounds confident the he and the Bears will discuss an extension at some point. The sixth-year wide receiver has enjoyed his best season since 2015, averaging 70.8 yards per game and having become the Bears’ most reliable skill-position player. The 27-year-old wideout sounds willing to wait, however. He is signed through the 2020 season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/30/19

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

Injury Notes: Redmond, Moore, McManis, Mack

The Bengals season of bad luck just continues getting worse. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, the team fears offensive lineman Alex Redmond suffered a torn biceps during warmups for yesterday’s game. If true, the already depleted Cincinnati offensive line will have to move forward with another man down.

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016, Redmond worked his way onto the Bengals roster and eventually earned a starting spot along the team’s front. In 2018, Redmond started 15 games for Cincinnati and was expected to be the team’s starting right guard entering the season. A four game suspension for violating the league’s PEDs policy and a series of injuries, however, have limited him to just two starts on the year.

Here’s some more injury notes from around the league:

  • Defensive end Damontre Moore suffered a fractured forearm in the 49ers dominating 37-8 victory over the Packers on Sunday Night, according to Matt Maioco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that Moore’s season was over and that the team would add defensive lineman Jeremiah Valoaga from the practice squad to take his roster spot. Moore was one of a handful of players in the now defunct Alliance of American Football (AAF) signed by NFL teams after the AAF season concluded. The 49ers originally released Moore at the start of the season, but signed him a couple weeks ago to deal with injuries along their defensive line. He accrued five tackles, one quarterback hit, and a forced fumble over two games prior to his injury.
  • Bears brass fear defensive back and special teams ace Sherrick McManis suffered a season ending groin injury in Sunday’s victory over the Giants, according to Brad Biggs of The Chicago Tribune. McManis has appeared in 131 games over a ten-year career as one of the better special teams players in football. Last season, the Bears relied on McManis for rotational depth in their secondary as well. It appears the team will need to find a replacement for the versatile veteran.
  • Colts head coach Frank Reich revealed that running back Marlon Mack will not play this week, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The news does not come as a surprise. Mack suffered a fractured right hand in Indianapolis’ Week 11 victory over the Jaguars and was expected to miss several weeks of action. Mack had been one of the Colts most dynamic weapons. The South Florida alum was averaging 4.5 yards per carry and recorded 938 yards from scrimmage over the team’s first ten games.

 

Bears' Bobby Massie To Miss Time

  • The Bears will be without their right tackle for a bit. Bobby Massie suffered a high ankle sprain against the Giants and will miss a few weeks, Rapoport tweets. This is Massie’s fourth season as Chicago’s starting right tackle; he re-signed this offseason on a four-year extension. Massie has only missed two games in his Bears tenure.

North Notes: Stafford, Trubisky, Garrett, Steelers

The Lions have discussed shutting down Matthew Stafford for the season because of his back injury, but that is not what the quarterback wants, and he still is hoping to play again this year, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. According to Schefter, not only does Stafford want to play, but he is, in the words of one source, “maniacal” about it.

Stafford, 31, missed his third straight game this afternoon against the Washington Redskins, which ended in a 19-16 loss. Jeff Driskel once again filled in for Stafford, throwing for an ugly 207 yards, with 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions, with Driskel throwing one of those interceptions at a crucial moment in the 4th quarter with one minute left to play. Before today’s loss, Driskel had started two games, throwing for 478 yards, with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception.

With the fractures in Stafford’s back, surgery is not considered an option, says Schefter. The injuries are potentially chronic, and Stafford knows that the pain, which he has dealt with dating back to last season, could be an issue for him for years to come. But Stafford still wants to return to play this season, despite knowing the risks involved.

It’s unlikely he will be able to return in time for the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day game against the Bears, with Driskel set to make that start.

Here are some more notes from the North:

  • Despite his lackluster play and injury concerns, the Bears are “still firmly behind” Mitchell Trubisky, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Rapoport goes on to say that the organization feels the entire offense needs to play better, not just Trubisky. Trubisky suffered a hip injury in last week’s loss to the Rams, but made the start in this afternoon’s 19-14 win over the Giants. In the win, the former second overall pick threw for 278 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions, while also rushing for a score.
  • Although Myles Garrett‘s suspension was upheld and he will miss the rest of this season, the NFL is hopeful and optimistic that the Pro Bowl pass rusher will not miss any games next season, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Schefter goes on to say that the NFL has mandated that Garrett must meet with the commissioner’s office during the offseason, and the NFL is doing that because it wants to see how he reacts to the lengthy suspension after the brawl that he was a part of earlier this month against the Steelers. Since losing the appeal, Garrett stands to lose about $1.2MM in salary for missing the six remaining games this season.
  • After the Steelers benched quarterback Mason Rudolph for Devlin Hodges in their 16-10 win over the Bengals this afternoon, Mike Tomlin said he felt like the offense just needed a spark, and that “Mason wasn’t doing enough.”, relays NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Tomlin would go on to say they’ll “see what next week holds”, with regard to his starting quarterback for next week’s matchup against the Browns. Hodges, a rookie out of Samford University, who signed with the Steelers as an undrafted free agent this past spring and was promoted off of the practice squad after Ben Roethlisberger’s injury, finished the game 5-of-11 for 118 yards and a touchdown in the comeback win. Before being benched, Rudolph was struggling, completing just 8 of 16 pass attempts for 65 yards and an interception.

 

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/21/19

Today’s practice squad updates:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Jets

  • Signed: OL Ryan Crozier

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: C J.C. Hassenauer
  • Released: TE Kevin Rader

Washington Redskins

Nagy Does Not Intend To Bench Trubisky

  • Mitchell Trubisky was a full participant at Bears practice Wednesday, despite being removed from Sunday night’s game with a hip injury. Matt Nagy said he does not intend to bench his starter and plans to play him this week against the Giants. “We want him to be out there this week as the starter,” Nagy said, via J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago. “I’m hoping that’s the case. … These types of injuries, you get to a point where they are literally day to day and it becomes about where you’re at with the pain and how we manage that.”

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

  • Promoted from practice squad: TE Jesper Horsted

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Miami Dolphins