Bears OT Teven Jenkins remains out of practice as trade talk swirls
Jenkins has missed most of training camp with an unspecified injury, but the real problem is the Bears might not have a spot for him even if healthy. That reality has sparked trade talks.
Offensive lineman Teven Jenkins missed his fourth consecutive practice Monday with an unspecified injury, but it seems he’s facing a bigger problem when it comes to his future with the Bears.
It has been clear since shortly after general manager Ryan Poles took over that he didn’t see what predecessor Ryan Pace saw in Jenkins when he traded up to draft him early in the second round last year. Where Pace saw a fixture at left tackle, Poles and the new coaching staff see a guy who might not make the roster.
The sooner this ends, the better off both sides will be. Jenkins, 24, was out most of last season because of back surgery and can’t afford another lost season as he tries to establish his career. And if the Bears act quickly, they might find a taker who had high grades on Jenkins coming out of Oklahoma State and get a decent return on a future pick.
Fifth-round pick Braxton Jones leapfrogged Jenkins at left tackle almost immediately, and veteran Riley Reiff is angling for the job, too. Larry Borom, a fifth-rounder from the same class as Jenkins, is holding down the job at right tackle.
That leaves Jenkins not only boxed out of a starting spot but possibly a roster spot, so it’s no surprise NFL Network reported the Bears have talked with other teams about trading him.
If the Bears part with Jenkins, that means only five of the first- and second-round selections from Pace’s seven-year tenure still will be with the team: quarterback Justin Fields, tight end Cole Kmet, cornerback Jaylon Johnson, linebacker Roquan Smith and left guard Cody Whitehair.
Jenkins widely was projected to be a first-round pick, but teams hesitated, presumably because of his history of back trouble and the fact that he mostly had played right tackle. Pace packaged third- and sixth-round picks in 2021 in a trade with the Panthers to move up from No. 52 to No. 39 to get Jenkins. The Bears also got a fifth-rounder back in the deal, which they used on Borom.
Jenkins was out until December. He played in six games, starting twice, and got only 161 snaps.