LAKE FOREST – From the moment he was drafted back in April, there was a thought that he would be able to be a long-term solution for the team at the tackle position.
But the chance for Teven Jenkins to do so has been sidetracked a bit as he starts his NFL career, missing training camp workouts so far with back issues.
Unfortunately for the rookie, those will now cost him a majority of the season.
At his morning news conference on Wednesday, Matt Nagy announced that Jenkins will be undergoing back surgery on Wednesday that figures to take him out a significant part of the season. The head coach said the surgery is a “common’ one and will be done in the Chicago area after several treatments failed to solve the issues.
While the surgery will cause him to miss a portion of the season, the coach maintained that the goal is to have the offensive tackle return to the field before the end of 2021.
“We were aware of the back issues in college, but these are symptoms that are new. That’s what we’re dealing with,” said Nagy.
Jenkins was expected to have a shot to earn one of the starting offensive tackle positions right out of training camp after the team lost their two starters for the 2020 season. The second round pick was an All-Big 12 selection at Oklahoma State in his final year in college and the Bears traded up to get him at No. 39 in the draft.
With Jenkins unable to practice for the entire training camp, the Bears for the moment have veteran Elijah Wilkinson and second-year lineman Lachavious Simmons as the top tackles. That could very well change for the team as competition continues in training camp, especially with the team’s signing of tackle Jason Peters this week.