CHICAGO (CBS) —  Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks continued his tradition of serving up an early Thanksgiving feast, this time at the Louis L. Valentine Boys and Girls Club on the South Side.

“It’s getting a chance to give back and also an area I’m strong in, I love working with kids,” said Hicks. “It’s really a positive experience for myself and them.”

Hicks has a lot to be thankful for despite an elbow injury suffered in week five against the Oakland Raiders, but that doesn’t make being a cheerleader right now any easier.

“It’s a different Saturday night at the hotel when everybody is getting prepared and locking in for the game and you’re sitting there spectating,” said Hicks. “As much as you can involve yourself by giving advice or pushing them in the right direction, the true moment, the battle, the competition, you’re going to miss that.”

Being sidelined hasn’t stopped the former Pro Bowler from trying to help his Bears teammates in any way he can.

“It’s really just being supportive, being a good teammate,” said Hicks. “That’s where I find myself. That’s what my role is at the moment. Just being a good teammate, being supportive, and making sure we’re going in the right direction mentally. That’s the most I can add.”

The 29-year-old defensive lineman will be eligible to return from the injured reserve week 15 against the Green Bay Packers.