It was evident a week ago that Akiem Hicks is not a happy man these days. Not necessarily because his personal life is in shambles. Far from it. It was more an issue of him being trapped on the sidelines on unable to play. Anybody who considers themselves a competitor will understand. He knew his absence was hurting the Chicago Bears and it was killing him that he could’ve been out on the field helping his boys.

It took a long time, but the recovery process from his elbow injury back in October seems to be nearing completion. He practiced for the second day in a row on Monday and optimism is high he could play in Week 15 against the rival Green Bay Packers. Much of this will depend on how his arm feels and whether he considers himself at or near full strength. By that sound of things when he met the media for the first in over a month though?

It might take an army to keep him off the field that night.

Akiem Hicks senses the moment and wants to seize it

The timing of all this could be huge. The Bears have a small window in front of them. After being the Giants and Lions to reach 6-6, there is reportedly a 70% chance they can still make the playoffs if they can find a way to win out in December. It’s a tall order with Dallas, Green Bay, Kansas City, and Minnesota on the schedule. However, if the defense were able to get Hicks back for three of them? Their odds would go up.

Much of this depends on what happens Thursday night at Soldier Field. The Bears will host the Cowboys who are struggling after two big losses to the Patriots and Bills. They have a chance to pull off a big victory, setting up Hicks’ return in Green Bay to be monumentally important to their hopes of an upset. As scriptwriting goes, it would be a fun one for Bears fans and give them something to cheer for even if the playoffs aren’t a guarantee.