Sigh of relief af­ter Hicks in the clear

Chicago Sun-Times - - SPORTS - BY PA­TRICK FIN­LEY, STAFF RE­PORTER pfin­ley@suntimes.com | @patrick­fin­ley

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 sec­ondquar­ter 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.”

Lucky sleeve

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.”

Weather watch

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.

GETTY IM­AGES

De­fen­sive end Akiem Hicks (get­ting ejected Sept. 30) was fined but not sus­pended for push­ing a ref­eree against the Bucs.

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