Vikings LB Jordan Hicks Seems Pretty Sure He’s Playing Sunday

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Carolina Panthers
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The last time Jordan Hicks started a game at middle linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings was week 10 vs the New Orleans Saints. And it ended at the hospital, with bruising (compartment syndrome) so bad in his shin, it needed immediate medical attention that could not be provided by doctors and trainers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

But 6 weeks later, Jordan is eager to put his leg injury behind him and get back on the football field. Monday, he took another step in that process when he was activated off injured reserve and into his 21-day practice window. For most players, that means they have three weeks to ramp up before being officially activated to the 53-man roster.

Related: Minnesota Vikings Playoff Odds – Week 16

Jordan Hicks status for Minnesota Vikings vs Detroit Lions

But on Tuesday we found out that may not be the case for Mr. Hicks. According to Alec Lewis (The Athletic), Minnesota’s inside linebacker is trying to return as soon as possible. How soon is that? How about this coming Sunday vs the Detroit Lions.

But Hicks’ mission to play football this weekend didn’t stop with what he told Alec. A couple hours later, Jordan got on KFAN radio with Dan Barreiro, where he went deeper into how good he feels and how determined he is to put the pads back on.

Barreiro: “Are you going full, you going 50%? Do [they have a process] to ramp you up?”

Hicks: “Full go, baby. Full go. We did all the ramp up these past couple weeks, when I was feeling like I could go. My body’s been pushed, obviously there’s gonna be a difference between being out there and running gassers and doing different things on the field by myself, but we tried to push it as much as possible so today was a full go.”

“Wind is feeling good, body’s feeling good, shin is feeling good, so I’m ready to go.”

Jordan Hicks – KFAN Radio

Hicks hinting that return vs Lions is likely, in his eyes

This is what I love about longer form interviews with Barreiro. Hicks had just met with Vikings beat writers in a scrum style informal little press conference right before speaking with Dan. He was able to make it clear then that he was hoping to play on Sunday.

Related: Vikings Expected to Stick with QB Nick Mullens vs Lions, as Playoffs Loom

But on KFAN, Dan kept poking and prodding and Hicks continued to open up about how far along he is in his recovery process and just how confident he is that he’ll be playing vs the Lions.

Hicks: “I’ve got 100% confidence in where I’m at. There’s a process and I’ve gotta still check off some boxes, right. Again, it’s just like the rest of this whole situation. I’ve been feeling good, I’m ahead of schedule and things are optimistic.”

Barreiro: “Is it unrealistic to think that you could participate this Sunday, Christmas Eve?”

Hicks: “No, no… it’s not at all.”

Jordan Hicks – KFAN Radio

The Minnesota Vikings defense has been playing really well, even without Jordan Hicks. Still, it would be a great boost if he can get back on the field in the team’s biggest game of the season and one that has all sorts of playoff implications.

Related: Minnesota Vikings Defense Rankings 2023 – Week 16

Ivan Pace Jr has been great wearing the green dot on his helmet. But at the end of the day, he is still an undrafted rookie and Jordan Hicks is a grizzled veteran who has a proven track record and leadership that is impossible for Pace to match, at this point in his career.

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