Teven Jenkins Misses a Second Practice With an Injury, But the Bears Are Not Going to Tell Us Much (Again)

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Teven Jenkins Misses a Second Practice With an Injury, But the Bears Are Not Going to Tell Us Much (Again)

Chicago Bears

Three days into training camp and there is already a “new year, same Bears” vibe hovering around the team, at least in one key respect.

That’s because (1) offensive lineman Teven Jenkins is missing practices with an undisclosed injury, and (2) the Bears are being evasive when discussing the injury. It is reminiscent of years past.

So, not only did Head Coach Matt Eberflus fail to specify the injury or ailment keeping Jenkins out of the lineup, there was no clarity regarding specifics or a timetable for return. On top of that, Eberflus cited a competitive advantage in not sharing injury details. Just when you thought the Bears couldn’t get weirder or more secretive, the new regime does both today.

And if you feel as if you’ve gone down this road before, it’s because you probably have. Especially if you were rocking with us at this time last year.

Last summer, it was Jenkins (again) sitting out practices with a mysterious back ailment. The Bears were acting like everything was fine … until it wasn’t. Jenkins had surgery in mid-August and there were plenty of repercussions. Among them, Jenkins landing on an IR stint that cost him a chunk of his rookie season. And while it was good to see Jenkins beat early projections and return to the lineup later that season, the whole experience left a sour taste about how much we ever really knew. That the cycle is repeating, with the same player, bugs me. And I’m not alone.

There have been rumblings in some corners of Bears Twitter casting doubt on Jenkins’ future with the team. And in some cases, it is fair to question. After all, we’ve seen Jenkins go from projecting as a starting left tackle all the way down to rolling with the second-string offense at right tackle.

Me? I wouldn’t yet go as far as to think Chicago would already cut ties with Jenkins.

Yes, some of that is rooted in the cash investment tied into Jenkins. Per OverTheCap’s calculations, cutting Jenkins at the end of the summer would lead the Bears to take on a $2,006,329 dead money charge. You can see that number and think of it as adding onto an already exorbitant pile of cash for players who aren’t playing for this team in 2022, but the Bears aren’t really in a place to be cutting able-bodied offensive linemen on rookie scale deals. Well, assuming he’ll eventually be able-bodied. You know, because we don’t really know yet.

If Jenkins isn’t the new regime’s type of player, that’s fine. To each their own. Ryan Poles didn’t trade up to draft Jenkins. But what good coaching staffs do is make the most out of suboptimal situations. In other words, if this staff was worth its salt, it would work with Jenkins, guide him through this injury issue, build on whatever strengths he has, and then move him for a conditional draft pick if the need to get him off the team is that great.

In the end, I’m just bothered that we’re having this conversation in the first place. Mostly because it wouldn’t be one if the Bears could show the smallest hint of transparency about what’s really going on with Jenkins.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.