The Chicago Bears were on their heels through most of the first half against the San Francisco 49ers. Nick Bosa and that 49ers defensive line did pretty much whatever they wanted, stopping the run and pressuring Justin Fields almost at will. It became apparent that nothing would change until the Bears’ offensive line started becoming the aggressors. They needed a message to be sent. Teven Jenkins provided it.
Late in the 2nd quarter, as Chicago was driving into field goal range, Bosa started up the field against Larry Borom on 1st and 10. Jenkins wasn’t involved in the play at first. However, things quickly shifted when he noticed something. He explained to Josh Schrock of NBC Sports Chicago the step-by-step process that led him to deliver one of the decisive moments of that game.
“I was handing [Arik] Armstead over to Sam [Mustipher],” Jenkins told NBC Sports Chicago of the play. “I know my responsibility, like I said with my eyes, my responsibility goes right to [helping] Larry [Borom]. I saw Bosa start to make an inside move. I said to myself, ‘if he comes inside, I have to give him a good hit.’ I went over there and I gave him a good pop. I looked down at him and I just see Larry get on top of him. I was like, ‘Oh, damn!'”
Teven Jenkins is learning remarkably fast.
It isn’t easy to convey how absurd this situation is. He’d barely ever played guard in his life until a few weeks ago. The Bears had drafted him to play tackle, where he stayed all of 2021 and through the first week of the preseason this year. Then offensive line coach Chris Morgan approached him with an offer. If he wants a chance to play, try switching to guard. Jenkins was skeptical at first, but he went along with it. In only two weeks, he’d beat out veteran Michael Schofield for the starting job.
To go from that to planting a two-time Pro Bowler on his back had to feel like a surreal moment. Then again, it shouldn’t be a surprise. Teven Jenkins always had blue-chip talent. His size and power were trademarks of his dominating run at Oklahoma State. To see his intelligence show up that quickly is beyond exciting. If this upward trajectory holds, the Bears might have a fixture on their offensive line for years to come.