Amid turbulence, Bears’ Teven Jenkins goes ‘all in’ for starting RG spot

Reports of Jenkins’ demise might have been exaggerated. He’s back and highly motivated to win a starting job at a new position.

SHARE Amid turbulence, Bears’ Teven Jenkins goes ‘all in’ for starting RG spot
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 began his NFL career at left tackle, then moved to right tackle and now could secure a spot as the starting right guard.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Teven Jenkins has had a wild career already, and he’s barely more than a year into it.

Drafted by the previous administration to be the Bears’ left tackle of the future, Jenkins saw the new staff dismiss that notion almost immediately and demoted him to right tackle. And as his chances dwindled at that spot, the recently shifted him to right guard.

Jenkins has gone from the most prestigious position on the offensive line to the least. And to his credit, his humility and resilience have given him a chance to win a starting job.

“It was a rollercoaster for a little bit, not knowing what I was gonna do,” he told the Sun-Times. “And then seeing that I have a chance at right guard... I’m trying to go all in and make sure I’m able to get in the starting five and give my team the best chance to win no matter where I’m at.

“Some guys might say they’re a left tackle and they’re staying at left tackle. I’m more of a team player type of guy. Whatever it takes for the team to win — it doesn’t matter to me... This is about me buying in now and believing in myself that I can do it at right guard.”

If this works, it would solve several problems for the Bears.

A week or so ago, it seemed plausible that they’d outright cut Jenkins — a second-round pick last year — because of where he sat on the depth chart. And it also looked like right guard would be the most problematic spot on their line.

If Jenkins thrives there, it could help solidify his and their future. This season is essentially an open audition for all five o-line spots in 2023, and jobs general manager Ryan Poles fills now will allow him to use salary-cap space and draft picks elsewhere next year.

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