When Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears returned to Halas Hall on Monday, questions regarding the status of rookie offensive tackle Teven Jenkins arose. After being sidelined since August due to back surgery, the Bears opted to open the 21-day window for Jenkins to return after the team returned the bye week in mid-November.
So far, the Bears have yet to update Jenkins’ status. While he could make his season debut on Sunday afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals, head coach Matt Nagy opted to offer no new updates on Jenkins status, fueling speculation about whether or not the 39th overall pick plays in 2021.
“Probably the biggest thing is, is with Teven’s situation is now that you’re into the season and where we’re at we just keep an eye on how our offensive line is doing and how they’re going,” said Nagy via the Bears official YouTube channel.
Nagy isn’t wrong. The offensive line is a cohesive unit and if everything is clicking, no change is needed. In the Bears case, a change may be needed. Veteran Jason Peters is merely a stopgap whose career has reached its twilight stages. Jenkins is under contract through the 2024 season and 2022 could mark the beginnings of a retooling of the Bears roster, with young talent getting a chance to showcase what’s possible.
“When we brought him into that window and got him going, it was important to be able to kind of see where he’s at physically,” Nagy said. “I think he’s done a great job, I love his mentality right now, working with the guys, and just kind of putting the pads on and getting into it.”
Nagy’s tone indicates that while the Bears are positive about Jenkins’ progress, Chicago is still taking it slow, keeping Jenkins’ short-term and long-term health in mind with the hope that Jenkins’ ceiling is high enough to become a franchise-caliber left tackle.