Bears RG Teven Jenkins hospitalized with neck injury; early assessment ‘encouraging’

Jenkins left on the fourth play of the game and was replaced by Michael Schofield.

SHARE Bears RG Teven Jenkins hospitalized with neck injury; early assessment ‘encouraging’
Bears rookie offensive tackle Teven Jenkins (76) made his NFL debut with two snaps on special teams in Week 13 against the Cardinals at Soldier Field after opening the season on injured reserve following back surgery.

Jenkins left minutes into the game against the Eagles.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

The Bears have had significant injuries lately, but none has been as harrowing as right guard Teven Jenkins going down Sunday against the Eagles.

Jenkins suffered a neck injury while blocking for running back David Montgomery on the fourth play of the game when Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat hit him in the head. Jenkins lay facedown on the field for several minutes, kicking his legs, until the medical staff put him on a stretcher and carted him to the locker room. A crowd of Bears players and coaches surrounded him on the field before he exited.

‘‘It’s just a reminder of how violent this game is and how any snap could be your last,’’ center Sam Mustipher said. ‘‘You can never take it for granted. I’m happy to hear that, as of right now, Teven is doing all right.

‘‘To see something like that happen is deflating, but you’ve gotta regroup and refocus. But it’s tough to see.’’

Jenkins was taken to the hospital, and coach Matt Eberflus said the initial assessment was ‘‘encouraging.’’

Jenkins, once thought to be the odd man out on the offensive line, has been a success story since moving to right guard shortly before the season started. He had started 10 games and played 70% of the snaps for the season before getting hurt.

Former Bears general manager Ryan Pace drafted Jenkins in the second round (39th overall) in 2021, thinking he would be a left tackle. But a preseason back injury derailed his rookie season, and he played only six games. When GM Ryan Poles and Eberflus took over in January, it was clear they didn’t hold Jenkins in the same regard.

But Jenkins went along with the position change and played well. At 24 and with two years left on his rookie contract, it’s plausible he’ll be a starter next season, if healthy.

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