News that the Chicago Bears will be without both of their starting tackles for the first two practices at training camp goes into the inauspicious start folder.
In case you missed it, right tackle Germain Ifedi was put on the PUP List on Wednesday because of a hip flexor. And during Thursday morning’s press conference, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy announced that rookie left tackle Teven Jenkins will miss sit out of practice due to back tightness. This will mark the second consecutive missed practice for Jenkins, who Chicago chose in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft after a trade-up with Carolina.
For what it’s worth, Nagy doesn’t sound all too concerned about these early injuries. Considering how much time there is until the regular season begins, I don’t expect Nagy to fret too much about some early nicks at camp. Nevertheless, offensive line injuries — no matter how small — make me itchy. Because while I love the idea of younger players getting practice reps, I hate that it comes at the expense of injured players. As far as I’m concerned, Jenkins needs all the reps he can get at left tackle after spending a majority of his college career on the right side. And even though Ifedi is a seasoned vet, I’d feel better about him at right tackle if he got more practice snaps at the position after spending a healthy chunk of last year at guard.
So, if you’re a fan attending today’s practice, get ready to see Elijah Wilkinson, Larry Borom, and others manning the tackle spots. Who knows … perhaps you’ll see someone take their first steps in a larger role starting today. I suppose that’s the beauty of the next-man-up nature of the NFL.
For more from Head Coach Matt Nagy, check out his press conference (which is going on as I type) below:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 29, 2021