(CBS) Riding high off a victory over the Steelers on Sunday, Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks woke up thinking of what’s next.
After facing one of the best teams in the league and earning a win, the Bears (1-2) have another test ahead. They face a short week before heading up to play the rival Packers (2-1) at Lambeau Field on Thursday.
Hicks looked ahead during his Monday morning appearance on the Mully & Hanley Show.
“I can tell you what, I’m juiced for it,” Hicks said of the primetime matchup. “I know this morning, I definitely woke up and thought about who my opponent was this week. There was a little excitement. I don’t want to say it’s added (excitement). Well, maybe there is a little bit of added benefit to having it be a Thursday night game against the Packers.
“I was told as soon as I signed here that there’s one game you got to win every year. That’s the Packers. When you get that kind of knowledge going forward, you take it to heart. You know what I mean? That’s my rival. We look forward to going down there Thursday, giving our best effort and taking home a ‘W.’”
The Bears earned a 23-17 victory over the Steelers on Sunday at Soldier Field, using their backfield tandem of Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to grind out the win in overtime. It was a hard-fought effort that left the Bears feeling good but also drained.
However, the Packers also were forced into overtime for a victory against the Bengals Sunday after falling behind early and rallying late.
This short week will be about recovery as much as it will be preparation. But given the opponent, Hicks knows there will be added fuel for the brief work week at Halas Hall.
“It was tough,” Hicks said. “We went into OT. There was that added fight to the end, and added excitement. When you come back down from that, it does last a little bit longer. But as far as the Thursday game, there’s a lot of things you have to deal with every year. We have to man up, go out there and kick some butt.”