Bears safety Jaquan Brisker has thumb surgery, could return by Week 1

Coach Matt Eberflus said the Bears were hopeful that Brisker would return before the season opener on Sept. 11 and that the team should find out more information soon.

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The Bears drafted Jaquan Brisker in Round 2.

The Bears drafted Jaquan Brisker in Round 2.

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Rookie Jaquan Brisker had surgery this week to repair a right thumb injury he suffered in the Bears’ first preseason game, a source confirmed to the Sun-Times on Saturday night. 

Coach Matt Eberflus said he’s hopeful that the projected starting strong safety will return in time for the season opener Sept. 11 against the 49ers.

Brisker suffered the injury against the Chiefs on Aug. 11 but didn’t feel it until he woke up the next morning, Eberflus said.

“You know, sometimes you wake up with these hand injuries, and it just shows up,” said Eberflus, who offered no firm timetable for a return. “It feels like you just kind of tweaked it a little bit — and all of a sudden the next day, there it is.”

Bears coaches have praised the Penn State alum since the team drafted him in the second round. He has played with the starters since his arrival, and his knack for takeaways and comfort level in the defense make him a natural fit at strong safety.

Brisker was the last Bear to sign his rookie contract, doing so the day veterans reported for training camp. 

DeAndre Houston-Carson started in Brisker’s place Thursday in Seattle.

Jenkins still starting

Teven Jenkins was still taking snaps with the starters on Saturday, less than a week after the Bears moved him to right guard. Perhaps more surprisingly: Larry Borom played right tackle with the first-teamers instead of Riley Reiff.

Reiff, who received a $3 million contract with at least $4.5 million in achievable bonuses, played left tackle with the second team.

“We’ll see where it is with him,” Eberflus said. “We’re working through that with the offensive line. It’s been a lot of pieces to the puzzle.”

He said Borom, who started eight games as a rookie last year, has “competition behind him.”

“We’ll see . . . if he can sustain that execution all the way through,” Eberflus said.

Jenkins — not veteran Michael Schofield — started against the Seahawks. 

“You think about that for a second — coming there for a couple of days and then starting in there and playing,” Eberflus said. “We were impressed. He did a nice job. . . . Now he’s got to continue to grow at the position. Like everybody else on the team, he’s got a lot to work on. But he had a good first outing in there.” 

Injury report

Khalil Herbert left practice with an injury, and fellow running back Trestan Ebner, a rookie, sat out with an ankle injury suffered Thursday night.

Wide receivers Byron Pringle (quadriceps), David Moore (lower leg) and Tajae Sharpe (undisclosed) remained out along with cornerback Thomas Graham (hamstring). Veteran defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad did not practice, either.

Big man’s pick-six

The highlight of practice came when defensive tackle Khyiris Tonga, who weighs 338 pounds, intercepted Justin Fields and returned the pass 80 yards for a touchdown. Eberflus praised the defenders for blocking.

‘‘We all got blocks, stayed on our blocks, and he returned it all the way,” he said.

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