Teven Jenkins returns to Bears training camp, in mix for starting job

Teven Jenkins

The Chicago Bears have been pretty quiet about the details surrounding offensive lineman Teven Jenkins’ absence from training camp. The 2021 second-round pick hasn’t practiced since the first session and, according to the team, is dealing with an injury. It’s been reported that the Bears are actively shopping Jenkins in trade talks.

For now, it appears Jenkins is finally back on the practice field.

Teven Jenkins first broke his silence about his mysterious disappearance on Aug. 2 when he sent this cryptic tweet:

It didn’t look like we were headed for a positive ending, but the fact Jenkins is at practice Saturday is at least a step in the right direction. We’ll find out more about his extended absence when he speaks with the media Saturday.

“Teven’s been great,” offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said from Halas Hall Friday. “He’s been attentive. He’s all in. Once he gets through this deal, he’ll be back out there ready to rock and roll.

“He’s going to get thrown right into the mix of this competition at the tackles, too. I mean, that’s… this is an open — right, left, whatever. We’re trying to find the best five, so when he gets back, he’s someone who’s super talented, that should jump in there, and hopefully, he takes advantage of the opportunities he’s going to get.”

That’s the most we’ve heard from any Bears coach, especially one as high-ranking as Getsy, about Jenkins since he stopped practicing. Kudos to Getsy for providing an update, but it did nothing to clarify what the heck is going on.

Jenkins was viewed as a 2021 NFL Draft steal when he fell to the Chicago Bears in the second round. He was supposed to be a plug-and-play starter, but a back injury derailed all of his rookie training camp and most of his first season in the league. He made two starts, appeared in six games, and had enough positive moments last year to confidently project him as a starter in 2022.

Getsy said Jenkins will get his chance at that starting job. Perhaps, his return to Bears practice on Saturday is the first step toward accomplishing that. He’ll have to unseat rookie Braxton Jones (left tackle) and veteran Riley Reiff (right tackle) to get back with the first team. The odds seem stacked against him, but from a pure talent perspective, he’s tough to bet against.

Let’s hope he’s back in the fold for good.

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