Monday, January 24, 2022

More Positive Teven Jenkins News Coming For The Bears


Teven Jenkins underwent back surgery prior to the start of the regular season for the Chicago Bears. An unfortunate setback for a talented young offensive tackle. Some wondered if he’d be able to return at all this year or if he would have to wait until 2022. The first welcome sign came when the team opened his 21-day practice window. This allowed him to rejoin his teammates and see where the recovery process was.

If he showed the necessary signs that he was healthy, then they would be able to activate him off Injured Reserve. That was two weeks ago. Clips of him working in practice and before games continue to flow in but still no public indications on what is going to happen. They have until Monday the 6th of December to make a decision. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune? The belief is he should be activated before the game on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

“Barring a setback, I would expect him to be moved to the 53-man roster before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals. Jenkins will go through his second practice in full pads this week. That is where this gets complicated because the Bears likely want to create a situation in which Jenkins can excel, and throwing him into the fire immediately might not be ideal.”

That is good to hear.

The next step would then be figuring out where and when to get him some action. With the Bears’ season on the brink, the time might be coming to start heavy evaluation of younger players on their roster. That would mean getting Jenkins on the field. While no definitive decision has been made, it sounds like the coaching staff aims to stick with their original plan of keeping the rookie at left tackle.

That makes sense both because it keeps his mind focused on where it was months ago and it won’t force them to move fellow rookie Larry Borom. He has established himself at right tackle over the past four weeks. With the 39-year old Jason Peters on the left side, it makes far more sense to plug Jenkins in there when the opportunity presents itself.

Teven Jenkins debut could be Week 15

It isn’t likely the Bears are going to throw the rookie into the fire against Arizona this weekend. Not against those solid pass rushers and not with the season still technically alive. A more logical insertion point (phrasing) would be Week 15. By that point, it is a reasonable assumption the Bears will have lost to the Cardinals and Packers. They will then be 4-9 and out of the playoff picture.

The game will be at home on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings. A team with a pass rush that has struggled for long stretches this season. A logical chance to get Teven Jenkins his first snaps. Chicago would then have four games left to do a proper evaluation of where he is at going into 2022. Continuing to play Peters any further wouldn’t serve any purpose beyond adding more mileage to that body.

As always, it comes down to Matt Nagy and the coaches.

With their jobs up in the air, it’s hard not to wonder if they’ll still operate with the idea of evaluation in mind down the stretch. Especially if the playoff hopes fade away. He could choose to play veterans and try to make his record look a little bit better cosmetically before heading out the door. Something other coaches have done in the past. These next few weeks should be interesting.

Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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