Chicago Bears: Teven Jenkins finds himself on the way out

Teven Jenkins, Chicago Bears. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Teven Jenkins, Chicago Bears. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Since the Chicago Bears drafted offensive lineman Teven Jenkins in 2021, he has yet to attend a training camp practice. Now it appears that the new regime has had enough of him.

In 2021, when the Chicago Bears drafted offensive lineman Teven Jenkins in the second round, they felt they hit the jackpot. Jenkins was a first-round prospect and many experts felt the Bears could pick him at 20.

Instead, former general manager Ryan Pace moved up to 11 to draft Justin Fields. There would be no Jenkins.

However, Jenkins fell to the second round. Pace moved up from 52 to 13 to select Jenkins. With two picks, the Bears felt they finally found their franchise quarterback and the lineman to protect his blindsight.

The Bears felt so much confidence in Jenkins that they waived the longtime starter at left tackle, Charles Leno Jr. They were ride-or-die on Jenkins.

Jenkins didn’t even last to training camp last year. He had a back injury that required surgery. He missed all of training camp and didn’t play in his first game until Week 13 in December. He played in just six games, starting two of them.

The feeling was things would be different in 2022. Jenkins is healthy and he could use the experience from last season to build upon. Things haven’t worked out that way, though.

During the minicamps, Jenkins was moved around. He was used at both left and right tackle. New head coach Matt Eberflus said that the team was just looking at how different players performed in different positions.

Then, in OTAs (offseason training activities), the coaches went an extra step by having Jenkins play with the second team. Again, Eberflus just said he was trying to use different combinations. He did the same with cornerback Jaylon Johnson. However, after a couple of days, he went back to the first team.

Jenkins, meanwhile, remained with the second team.

No training camp is here. After five days, though, there still hasn’t been a Jenkins sighting. That’s right, in two years of training camp, Jenkins has yet to attend one day.

Eberflus wouldn’t say much about Jenkins missing training camp except to say that he was “dealing with something with the trainers” and is “day to day.”

Eberflus wouldn’t even confirm if Jenkins is actually injured.

Over the weekend, ESPN Chicago’s David Kaplan reported that Jenkins’ injury wasn’t serious. What is serious is Jenkins’ disconnect with the coaching staff, especially with offensive line coach Chris Morgan. There is a big concern about his immaturity.

It appears that the new regime wasn’t too enamored with Jenkins from the start. While Pace and company really had confidence in him, general manager Ryan Poles and company don’t see it.

While many people dismissed Kaplan’s report, more came out on Monday. The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweeted that the Chicago Bears were in trade talks around Jenkins.

That would be the biggest reason for Jenkins’ absence. They wouldn’t want something to happen to him while they are in trade talks. We saw what happened with Lucas Patrick. On Day 2 of training camp, he broke the thumb in his right hand. Now he is out indefinitely, though the team said he should be ready for Week 1.

Trading Jenkins wouldn’t save the Bears a lot of salary cap space. Jenkins is on his rookie deal so trading him would save just $1 million. What is important is picking up draft picks. The team has seven picks for 2023 so, being in a rebuild, they need as many draft picks as possible.

Poles made some moves recently that made Jenkins expendable. Poles signed Riley Reiff to take over at left tackle. The original plan was to have Jenkins battle with rookie Braxton Jones for the starting job. Now that won’t happen.

Some people felt that with that move Jenkins would battle Larry Borom for the right tackle starting job. However, unlike Jenkins, the Chicago Bears feel good about Borom.

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Now Jenkins is in limbo. Well, it appears that his time in Chicago is over after only six games. A once-promising player now leaves in a trail of injuries and immature actions.