There are a myriad of factors that could hasten an agreement between the Bears and linebacker Roquan Smith. Or sink one.
Matthew Adams’ shoulder, though, isn’t one of them.
The special-teams stalwart, who’s playing Smith’s linebacker spot while he “holds in” amid a trade demand, hurt his right shoulder on the second play Thursday while tackling Seahawks running back Travis Homer on a screen.
Adams’ health, though, should have little to do with whether the Bears give Smith the contact he seeks — worth around $100 million over five years.
The Bears have more than three weeks until their regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the 49ers.
Smith likely wouldn’t play in the preseason finale next Saturday even if he were to sign. Coach Matt Eberflus planned to meet with his staff late Friday to begin determining which starters, if any, will face the Browns.
The Bears will treat next week differently. The three days of practice leading up to the game in Cleveland will be similar to what they’ll emphasize during game weeks, giving coaches and players a dry run before the opener.
That leaves Aug. 29 as the first practice in which the Bears will focus entirely on the 49ers — and might be the closest thing Smith and the Bears have to a contract deadline.
Jenkins rides ‘roller coaster’
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 left tackle of the future, Jenkins saw the new staff dismiss that notion and demote him to right tackle. Monday, they 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 roller coaster for a little bit, not knowing what I was going to 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.”
It could solve several problems. A week or so ago, it seemed plausible that the Bears would outright cut the 2021 second-round pick. 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.
Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. practice — which was moved back in the day to allow the Bears to recover from a red-eye flight — is the last training-camp session open to the public.