Bears place DL Akiem Hicks (elbow) on injured reserve

A crucial cog in the center of the Bears defense won't be back for a while.

Chicago announced on Tuesday that defensive lineman Akiem Hicks had been placed on the reserve/injured list.

Hicks has been dealing with an elbow injury that already held him out for one game this season.

Sidelined in the Bears' Week 4 win over the Vikings, Hicks has produced six tackles, one sack and one fumble recovery in his four games played (all starts).

A leader on one of the league's most well-regarded defenses, Hicks, 29, was a free-agent signing of the Bears in 2016 after three years and change with the Saints and a 13-game run in New England.

Hicks has turned in his finest seasons since joining the Bears, producing a career-high 8.5 sacks in 2017 as a defensive end and earning a Pro Bowl spot in 2018 as a defensive tackle who tallied 55 tackles, 7.5 sacks, five passes defended, three forced fumbles and 12 tackles for loss.

His presence in the middle will be missed as much for his talents as his governance in the locker room for the 3-2 Bears, who are trying to stay within striking distance of the NFC North first-place Packers.

In corresponding moves, the Bears signed offensive lineman Alex Bars from the practice squad to the active roster and signed linebacker Fadol Brown to the practice squad.

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