The Bears can’t afford to go without two players who are the center of their defensive blueprint. If either or both of them is out against the Rams, it’ll severely hinder their pass rush.
There are concerns about two of the Bears’ best players heading into their game Monday against the Rams. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack did not practice Friday because of a back injury, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks missed his second consecutive practice because of an illness.
Bears coach Matt Nagy didn’t elaborate much on either situation after practice Friday.
Mack has been limited for most of the season because of a knee injury, but practiced in full Thursday and wasn’t listed on the injury report. He leads the team with 4.5 sacks and has a fumble recovery and a pass breakup.
Nagy clarified that Hicks’ illness is not coronavirus. Players are tested daily, and he said there’s no concern in that regard.
Hicks has 3.5 sacks and 21 tackles.
Both players are essential to the Bears’ pass rush, along with outside linebacker Robert Quinn. That trio accounts for 25.1% of their payroll this season.