Chicago Bears offensive tackle Teven Jenkins returned to the field Saturday morning after missing seven practices with an undisclosed ailment.
Jenkins’ absence was a big topic of conversation around Halas Hall over the last week after NFL Network reported Monday the Bears were holding trade talks centered around the 2021 second-round pick. Coach Matt Eberflus has a policy not to discuss day-to-day injuries, and without official word on Jenkins’ issue speculation surrounded the situation.
Eberflus said Jenkins was present at Halas Hall to work with trainers. But unlike some other injured players, Jenkins was never spotted watching practice or working out to the side on exercise bikes.
Jenkins returned in a limited capacity Saturday, doing some position group work and standing on the sideline in uniform during team drills.
When asked Friday whether Jenkins was a participant in meetings, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said, “Teven’s been great. 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.”
Where Jenkins fits on the offensive line is a big question. The Bears have rotated players at both tackle positions, most recently giving first-team reps to rookie Braxton Jones at left tackle and Riley Reiff and Larry Borom at right tackle. Reiff, a 10-year NFL veteran whom the Bears signed just before camp, took reps at left tackle earlier in camp.
“(Jenkins) is going to get thrown right into the mix of this competition at the tackles,” Getsy said. “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.”
Jenkins missed all of training camp in his rookie season with a back injury that eventually required surgery. He returned to appear in his first NFL game in December and played in six games, with two starts.
Jenkins participated in offseason activities and practiced on the first day of camp July 27 before missing the next seven practices.
Eberflus — and potentially Jenkins — will address the media Saturday afternoon after practice. Jenkins replied to a tweet asking how he was on Tuesday, writing, “I’m good don’t believe everything you read.”