Tremaine Edmunds back, but injuries still an issue for Bears

Edmunds practiced for the first time since Aug. 3, but with Teven Jenkins out — and Darnell Wright leaving practice late with an apparent ankle injury — the Bears’ offensive line still is in search of continuity with the season opener less than three weeks away.

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Bears guard Cody Whitehair blocks against the Bengals.

Veteran Cody Whitehair (65) started training camp at center, but is back at left guard following an injury to Teven Jenkins. Whitehair started 28 games at left guard the past two seasons.

Jeff Haynes/AP

Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds practiced for the first time since Aug. 3. But rookie right tackle Darnell Wright left practice with an apparent ankle injury. It has been that kind of training camp for the Bears on the injury front.

Edmunds began a ramp-up Tuesday after missing 10 practices, participating in individual drills but not team drills. But the Bears still had 13 players out, including safeties Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker, left guard Teven Jenkins, wide receiver Chase Claypool and defensive end DeMarcus Walker. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, still getting in shape after signing on Aug. 4, also did not practice.

With Edmunds back and Jackson, Brisker, Walker and Ngakoue expected to be ready for the regular-season opener Sept. 10 against the Packers, the focus is on the offensive line.

Jenkins is “week to week,” according to coach Matt Eberflus, with a leg injury that almost certainly puts his status for Week 1 in doubt.

“It’s bigger than day-to-day, and that’s all we’re going to disclose at this time,” Eberflus said.

Center/guard Cody Whitehair arrived late Tuesday and practiced with his injured right hand heavily taped. Right guard Nate Davis is still ramping up after returning last week from an injury. And Wright bears watching after leaving practice late. Eberflus had no update on his status after practice.

With top backup guard/center Lucas Patrick also in ramp-up mode in his return from an injury, the Bears finished practice with left tackle Braxton Jones, Whitehair and three reserves — center Doug Kramer, right guard Ja’Tyre Carter and right tackle Larry Borom — with quarterback Justin Fields and the first-team offense in team drills.

With 19 days before the opener, Eberflus is not expressing dismay about the injury situation. But he acknowledged that the current makeshift offensive line could influence his decision to play Fields in the preseason finale Saturday against the Bills at Soldier Field. Eberflus said “each unit’s health” will be evaluated this week before he decides who will play against Buffalo.

“There’s no question that will be looked at [with regard to Fields],’’ Eberflus said. “You always have to look at the combinations and the health of the offensive linemen when you’re talking about the quarterback.”

Tarik’s comeback

Former Bears running back Tarik Cohen, who has not played in the NFL since suffering a knee injury in Week 3 of the 2020 season, is healthy and ready to attempt a comeback, agent Drew Rosenhaus said.

The 5-6, 191-pound Cohen, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina A&T in 2017, made an immediate impact as a rookie when he scored touchdowns on a run, a reception and a kick return and also threw a touchdown pass.

But he suffered the knee injury in 2020, then tore his Achilles during a workout last year. Cohen, who turned 28 on July 26, already has had interest from “multiple teams” and will have workouts soon, Rosenhaus said.

Chicago royalty

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was a guest at practice.

“That was pretty cool to see him,” Eberflus said.

Former Bears running back Matt Forte also was at practice. Forte is second in franchise history behind Walter Payton in rushing yards (8,602) and receptions (487) and seventh in receiving yards (4,116).

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