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Chicago — The Bears will be without defensive lineman Akiem Hicks for at least eight weeks after they placed him on injured reserve Tuesday afternoon.

Hicks, a Pro Bowler last season, would be able to return to practice in six weeks. The earliest he could play is the Dec. 15 game against the Packers in Green Bay if he is designated to return. He would miss both games against the Lions on Nov. 10 at Chicago and Nov. 28 at Ford Field.

Hicks injured his left elbow early in the Raiders game when Khalil Mack’s helmet struck his arm and it bent awkwardly as he fell into a pile of players.

The Bears must now try to move on without a player who has 24 sacks, 39 tackles for a loss, 56 quarterback hits and five forced fumbles since joining the Bears in 2016.

Concussion rates up

The NFL says the number of concussions in exhibition games this year rose to 49 from 34 in 2018, an increase of 44 percent and a setback in efforts to reduce brain trauma.

Concussions in preseason practices fell to 30 from 45 in 2018, perhaps a reflection of the NFL’s decision this year to eliminate drills that involve especially violent one-on-one contact. The total of 79 preseason concussions in practice and games was the same a year ago.

Garrett gets backing

The Cowboys are mired in a three-game losing streak after starting the season 3-0 and coming off an embarrassing loss to the formerly winless New York Jets. They are heading to Sunday’s showdown with the Eagles for first place in the NFC East.

Asked if coach Jason Garrett was on the hot seat and in danger of being fired before the end of the season, executive vice president Stephen Jones was emphatic in his denial. “Absolutely not,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan Monday.

Garrett is 80-62 in 142 career games as Cowboys coach with just two playoff wins.

Dealing Rams

The Rams traded cornerback Marcus Peters to the Ravens for linebacker Kenny Young and an undisclosed pick in the 2020 draft. In a separate deal, the team received offensive lineman Austin Corbett from the Browns in exchange for an undisclosed 2021 draft pick.

The two-time Pro Bowl selection has five interceptions since joining Los Angeles, but his rookie contract expires at the end of this season.

Young has started three of the Ravens’ five games this season, making 11 tackles. Corbett played in 11 games, making one start as a rookie.

Gronk: No on return

Rob Gronkowski has set the record straight once and for all.

“Obviously when I retired I retired for a reason, because I needed to step away. So it would be a no,” the former Patriots star tight end said on the WEEI Sports Radio Network while answering a caller who asked for a definitive answer whether he would return.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed just last week that the 30-year-old had not actually put in his retirement papers.

Casino partner

The Raiders say the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians will become a “founding partner” of the still-under-construction Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The $2 billion, 65,000-seat stadium is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020 season.

The tribe of Serrano people runs the San Manuel Casino in Highland, California. They already support nine other professional teams in football, hockey, soccer and baseball.

Personnel dept.

The team placed defensive end Stephon Tuitt on injured reserve, two days after Tuitt tore a pectoral muscle in the first quarter of a 24-17 victory over the Chargers.

... Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford is set to undergo season-ending hip surgery for an injury that bothered him through the offseason.

... The Jets have signed defensive back Blake Countess (Michigan) and waived cornerback Arthur Maulet.

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