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Akiem Jamar Hicks (born November 16, 1989) is an American football defensive end for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the New Orleans Saints in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft and has also played for the New England Patriots. He played college football at Sacramento City College and at the University of Regina.

Akiem Hicks
refer to caption
Akiem Hicks in 2018
No. 96 – Chicago Bears
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1989-11-16) November 16, 1989 (age 30)
Elk Grove, California
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:352 lb (160 kg)
Career information
High school:Del Campo
(Fair Oaks, California)
University:Regina
NFL Draft:2012 / Round: 3 / Pick: 89
Career history
Roster status:Injured reserve/designated for return
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 1, 2019
Total tackles:305
Sacks:33.5
Forced fumbles:6
Fumble recoveries:4
Interceptions:0
Defensive touchdowns:2
Rushing touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com

Early yearsEdit

A native of Sacramento, California, Hicks was born in Elk Grove, attended Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, and began his college career at Sacramento City College. After the 2008 season, he was rated as a top junior college player and signed to play at LSU. However, recruiting violations by LSU made him ineligible for the 2009 season; unable to transfer to another American football program, he went to work at a DirecTV call center in Colorado Springs, Colorado while he considered his next move. Hicks had an offer to play for the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League, but decided instead to continue his education and college football career with the Regina Rams of the Canada West Universities Athletic Association. After his first season at Regina, he was drafted by the Omaha Nighthawks of the United Football League, but again decided to stay in college. In his second year at Regina, he made 42 tackles and 6 1/2 sacks and was named the CWUAA's top lineman. A strong performance in the East-West Shrine Game increased his profile with NFL scouts.[1][2]

Professional careerEdit

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
6 ft 4 58 in
(1.95 m)
318 lb
(144 kg)
35 18 in
(0.89 m)
10 14 in
(0.26 m)
5.23 s 4.86 s 7.75 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
9 ft 0 in
(2.74 m)
26 reps
All values from NFL Combine[3]

New Orleans SaintsEdit

2012Edit

 
Akiem Hicks in 2012

The Saints drafted Hicks in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft; it was the Saints' first pick of the draft. He became the ninth Canadian Interuniversity Sport player to be selected in the NFL draft, and the second-highest NFL draft pick in CIS history (behind only Mike Schad, a first round pick in 1986).[4] As a rookie in 2012, Hicks played 14 games making 20 tackles, a pass defended, and a forced fumble.

2013Edit

In 2013, Hicks started all 16 games making 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

2014Edit

In 2014, he played 15 games with 42 tackles, two sacks, and two passes defended.

2015Edit

To begin the 2015 season with the Saints, Hicks played three games with three tackles.

New England PatriotsEdit

On September 30, 2015, Hicks was traded to the New England Patriots for tight end Michael Hoomanawanui.[5]

On December 20, 2015, Hicks scored a touchdown in the Patriots' 33–16 win against the Tennessee Titans, recovering the ball for a touchdown after a Chandler Jones strip sack. For the remainder of the 2015 season with the Patriots, Hicks played 13 games with 21 tackles, three sacks, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown. Overall in 2015, combined with both teams, Hicks played 16 games with 24 tackles. The Patriots finished the season with a 12-4 record to clinch an AFC East division title until losing to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game by a score of 20–18.[6]

Chicago BearsEdit

2016Edit

On March 13, 2016, Hicks signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Bears.[7] On September 11, 2016, Hicks made his debut as a Chicago Bear against the Houston Texans, recording 3 tackles and a forced fumble.[8] On September 23, 2016, Hicks was fined $18,231 for roughing the passer, regarding a helmet-to-helmet hit on Carson Wentz in Week 2 against the Eagles.[9] On October 2, 2016, Hicks recorded his first sack of the season on Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.[10][11] On October 31, 2016, Hicks recorded two sacks against the Minnesota Vikings.[12] On December 4, 2016, Hicks recorded 10 tackles plus two sacks and a forced fumble in a 26-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers, earning him NFC Defensive Player of the Week.[13] On December 11, 2016, Hicks recorded a sack against the Detroit Lions.[14] Hicks's seventh sack of the season was a career-high.[15]

2017Edit

On September 9, 2017, Hicks signed a four-year, $48 million contract extension with the Bears.[16]

On September 10, against the Atlanta Falcons in the season opener at Soldier Field, Hicks had two sacks in the 23–17 loss.[17]

2018Edit

 
Hicks with Roquan Smith, DeAndre Houston-Carson, and Khalil Mack of the Chicago Bears in 2018

During Week 4 of the 2018 season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Hicks was ejected for pushing an official out of the way after being involved in a fight with Buccaneers offensive lineman Ali Marpet. Hicks was not suspended, but was fined $33,425.[18]

In week 11 against the Minnesota Vikings, Hicks sacked quarterback Kirk Cousins once, along with recording a career-best five tackles for a loss. The Bears won the game 25–20.[19]

Hicks also saw occasional playing time on offense during the season. In a week 13 loss to the New York Giants, he lined up at upback alongside defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris on fourth-and-goal from the Giants' one-yard line. Receiving the hand-off, Hicks ran for the one-yard touchdown. The play was dubbed "Freezer Left" by head coach Matt Nagy in tribute to William "The Refrigerator" Perry, a defensive lineman who sporadically played fullback for the Bears in the 1980s.[20] Hicks was the first Bears defensive player to score a touchdown on offense since linebacker Brian Urlacher caught a touchdown pass from punter Brad Maynard on a fake field goal in 2001.[21]

Hicks finished the season with 55 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles. He received an overall grade of 91.6 from Pro Football Focus in 2018, which ranked as the 4th highest grade among all qualifying interior defenders.[22] He was named to the 2019 Pro Bowl roster.[23]

2019Edit

 
Akiem Hicks in a game against the Denver Broncos

In week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, Hicks recorded the first sack of his season on Aaron Rodgers as the Bears lost 10-3. [24] In week 3 against the Washington Redskins, Hicks recovered a fumble forced by teammate Khalil Mack before exiting the game with a knee injury. Without Hicks, the Bears won the game 31-15. [25] On October 15, the Bears placed Hicks on injured reserve after an elbow injury.[26] He was designated for return from injured reserve on December 2, 2019, and began practicing with the team again.[27]

Career statisticsEdit

Year Team Games Tackles Interceptions Fumbles
GP GS Comb Solo Ast Sack Int Yards Avg Lng TD PD FF FR Yards TD
2012 NO 14 0 20 10 10 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
2013 NO 16 16 56 29 27 4.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2014 NO 15 14 41 27 14 2.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 NO 3 3 2 0 2 0.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 NE 13 0 21 9 12 3.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
2016 CHI 16 16 54 36 18 7.0 0 0 0.0 0 0 2 2 1 0 0
2017 CHI 16 16 54 39 15 8.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
2018 CHI 16 16 55 41 14 7.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 5 3 0 0 0
Career 109 81 303 194 117 32.5 0 0 0.0 0 0 8 6 4 0 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dan Ralph, "Akiem Hicks's path to the 2012 NFL draft has been a long, sometimes bizarre one" Archived July 24, 2012, at Archive.today, The Canadian Press at 660news.com, April 25, 2012.
  2. ^ Joe Davidson, "Akiem Hicks of Del Campo, Sacramento City goes in 3rd round of NFL Draft to Saints" Archived September 5, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, The Sacramento Bee, April 27, 2012.
  3. ^ "Akiem Hicks Combine Profile". NFL.com. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  4. ^ "Regina Rams star drafted into the NFL: Canada West’s top lineman Hicks picked 89th overall by New Orleans" Archived April 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, Calgary Herald, April 28, 2012.
  5. ^ "Patriots acquire Hicks from Saints" NESN, September 30, 2015.
  6. ^ "AFC Championship - New England Patriots at Denver Broncos - January 24th, 2016". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 17, 2017.
  7. ^ Patra, Kevin (March 14, 2016). "Bears add DE Akiem Hicks on a 2-year contract". NFL. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Schwarz, Jr., Rob (September 12, 2016). "Akiem Hicks records three tackles and a forced fumble". www.fantasypros.com. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  9. ^ Eurich, Matt. "Akiem Hicks fined for hit on Carson Wentz". 247 Sports. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  10. ^ Mayer, Larry (October 2, 2016). "Bears defense plays 'lights out' in win". Chicago Bears. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  11. ^ "Hicks sacks Stafford for 7-yard loss". Archived from the original on November 6, 2016. Retrieved October 2, 2016.
  12. ^ Finley, Patrick (October 31, 2016). "Monster mash: Stout Bears defense keys 20-10 upset of Vikings". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  13. ^ Lewis, Edward (December 7, 2016). "Andrew Luck headlines NFL Players of the Week". NFL.com.
  14. ^ "Bears' Akiem Hicks: Picks up another sack in Sunday loss". CBSSports.com. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  15. ^ LeGere, Bob (December 11, 2016). "Barkley 'continues to be a bright spot' for Chicago Bears". Daily Herald. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  16. ^ Bergman, Jeremy. "Bears sign Akiem Hicks to 4-year, $48M extension". NFL.com. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  17. ^ "Atlanta Falcons at Chicago Bears - September 10th, 2017". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  18. ^ "Bears' Akiem Hicks fined $33,425 for bumping official". ESPN. October 6, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Eurich, Matt (November 18, 2018). "Bears defense dominates in big win over Vikings". 247Sports.com. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Finley, Patrick (December 2, 2018). "The Fridge, Part II? Bears DL Akiem Hicks scores on handoff". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Dickerson, Jeff (December 2, 2018). "Watch: Bears pay tribute to 'The Fridge' with 'freezer left' play". ESPN. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  22. ^ "Pro Football Focus: Akiem Hicks". profootballfocus.com. Retrieved March 31, 2019.
  23. ^ Eurich, Matt (December 18, 2018). "Seven Chicago Bears named alternates to 2019 Pro Bowl". 247Sports.com. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  24. ^ "Packers D, Aaron Rodgers beat Bears 10-3 in opener". www.espn.com. September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  25. ^ "Trubisky, Bears get offense on track, beat Redskins 31-15". www.espn.com. September 22, 2019. Retrieved September 22, 2019.
  26. ^ "Bears Place DT Akiem Hicks On IR". Pro Football Rumors. Retrieved October 15, 2019.
  27. ^ Mayer, Larry (December 2, 2019). "Hicks striving to return to action in Green Bay". ChicagoBears.com. Retrieved December 4, 2019.

External linksEdit