Teven Jenkins

Bears, Teven Jenkins Haven’t Talked Extension

Teven Jenkins is entering the final year of his contract. While the offensive guard is interested in extending his stay in Chicago, it sounds like the organization hasn’t been especially active in attempting to re-sign the veteran.

While speaking with reporters today (including Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times), Jenkins acknowledged that his camp “reached out” to the Bears about an extension but “nothing is on the table.” When asked about the front office’s inaction, the offensive lineman described the potential negotiations as “up in the air.”

The former second-round pick is entering the fourth and final season of his rookie contract. As Finley notes, general manager Ryan Poles has recently handed out a handful of extensions, with the reporter pointing to tight end Cole Kmet, defensive end Montez Sweat, nose tackle Andrew Billings, kicker Cairo Santos, and cornerback Jaylon Johnson.

“I mean, it’s good to see that stuff — that the Bears are willing to do that,” Jenkins said. “But every situation is different. We have to go about it, me and my agent, however ‘upstairs’ wants to do it.”

Jenkins has yet to play a full season, so the Bears may be a bit wary of extending the player too soon. The 26-year-old did stay relatively healthy in 2024; after sitting on injured reserve for the first four games, Jenkins played in 12 of his team’s remaining 13 contests.

After struggling as an offensive tackle, Jenkins took off after switching to guard during his sophomore season. Pro Football Focus graded him as the third-best guard during the 2022 campaign, and he finished 2023 ranked 14th among qualifying players. The lineman also spent time at both LG and RG, and that versatility could end up helping the Bears down the line.

The organization has been especially active in surrounding Caleb Williams with as much talent as possible. While the team may be dragging their feet a bit with Jenkins, the organization will surely want the offensive lineman locked in for the foreseeable future if he has another strong campaign.

Bears Release QB Nathan Peterman

For the second time in two weeks, Nathan Peterman has been let go by the Bears. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, Chicago released the veteran quarterback today.

Peterman spent most of the 2022 campaign as the Bears’ QB3, but he ended up starting the team’s regular-season finale with both Justin Fields and Trevor Siemian sidelined. Peterman fared okay in that contest, tossing a touchdown without an interception in an eventual loss.

The 29-year-old re-signed with the organization this past offseason, and despite being part of the Bears’ final roster cuts, he was brought back as the QB2 to start the season. Since then, the veteran has dropped down the depth chart, with UDFA Tyson Bagent being promoted to the primary backup behind Fields.

As a result, Peterman was cut from the roster in September but was quickly brought back. It will be interesting to see if the front office follows a similar path this time around. For what it’s worth, the organization is only rostering a pair of QBs in Fields and Bagent, so they’ll surely need some more depth following tonight’s game.

Peterman has emerged as a popular backup QB in recent years, having previously held the clipboard for the Bills and Raiders. In total, Peterman has seen time in 13 games (five starts), completing 53.1 percent of his passes for 712 yards, four touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.

The Bears also announced that they’ve officially activated guard Teven Jenkins off injured reserve and promoted defensive back A.J. Thomas from the practice squad. The 2022 UDFA out of Western Michigan has spent his entire career in Chicago, collecting four tackles in five appearances.

Bears Activate G Teven Jenkins From IR

OCTOBER 5: Jenkins will be this season’s first IR activation. Despite being designated for return three days before a Thursday-night game, Jenkins will come off IR in time for the Bears’ matchup with the Commanders, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. This will be welcome news for a Bears team that has seen three starting O-linemen — Jenkins, Jones and Davis — miss multiple games. Jones remains on Chicago’s IR but will be a candidate to follow Jenkins back onto the active roster down the road.

This activation will shake up the Bears’ O-line. Cody Whitehair, per the Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley, will likely return to the center position he played earlier in his career — the team’s plan upon signing Davis this offseason — while Jenkins is shifting from right guard to left guard to accommodate the ex-Titan. Center Lucas Patrick will be on track to return to a backup role.

OCTOBER 2: Teams can begin opening practice windows for players on IR and the PUP list this week. The Bears will do so with one of their starting offensive linemen.

Suffering an injury during the preseason, Teven Jenkins went on IR just after the Bears finalized their initial 53-man roster. This allowed them to make the young blocker one of their in-season activations. It looks like Jenkins will be in play to return soon, with Matt Eberflus confirming (via the Chicago Sun-Times’ Patrick Finley) the interior starter is now designated for return.

Designating a player to return from IR means a 21-day practice window is opened. This transaction means the Bears have three weeks to decide on Jenkins, who will either be activated in that span or revert to season-ending IR. With this unspecified leg injury never expecting to end his season, it should be assumed the former second-round pick will return at some point in October. With the Bears having a Thursday-night tilt, it would not surprise if Week 6 became the Jenkins target date.

After struggling as a tackle, Jenkins broke through at guard last season. He graded as a top-10 guard, in the view of Pro Football Focus, despite moving to the post during the 2022 offseason. The Oklahoma State alum returning would certainly help the Bears, who are 0-4 and have seen other availability issues plague them up front. Left tackle Braxton Jones is on IR as well, while free agent pickup Nate Davis has missed two games.

Teams have eight in-season IR activations at their disposal. Players must miss four games upon being placed on IR, but they can now be activated from the injured list twice. From 2020-21, teams enjoyed unlimited IR activations. Opting for a middle ground between the pandemic-era format and the stricter setup of previous eras, the NFL settled on eight in 2022. For Jenkins, this marks his second NFL injury hiatus. He missed much of his 2021 rookie season due to a back injury.

Bears To Place G Teven Jenkins On IR

AUGUST 30: Bears general manager Ryan Poles said on Wednesday that Jenkins will be placed on IR. He will thus miss at least the first four games of the year, adding to his track record of time spent on the sidelines. Given the six-week timeline for recovery, it comes as little surprise that Jenkins will start the campaign in IR, but his return will be welcomed given his success at guard last season.

AUGUST 22: Jenkins’ absence may last longer than we initially expected. According to Biggs, the offensive lineman could miss up to six weeks, although Matt Eberflus made it clear that the organization is considering the injury a “week-to-week issue.”

AUGUST 21: Much of the Bears’ development on offense in 2023 will depend on the play of their new offensive line. The unit will likely not be at full strength to begin the campaign, however.

Left guard Teven Jenkins is dealing with a leg injury which could cost him time during September, per the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs. That would leave Chicago without an entrenched starter on their offensive front for part of the regular season, and mark another unwanted development in Jenkins’ brief NFL career.

The 2021 second-rounder struggled at both tackle spots as a rookie to the point he was mentioned in trade talks last year. A switch to guard paid dividends, though. Jenkins earned the third-highest PFF grade (80.7) amongst qualifying guards, suggesting he could have a long-term future on the interior. A repeat of last year’s performance would help his standing in the organization and give the team a much-needed mainstay up front.

Chicago made a number of moves aimed at boosting its O-line this offseason, including the selection of right tackle Darnell Wright at No. 10 overall and the signing of Nate Davis in free agency. The latter will remain at his familiar right guard spot in the Windy City, meaning Jenkins will shift over to left guard when healthy. Biggs notes that Jenkins could miss six weeks with this latest ailment, however, one which adds to the list of injuries he has dealt with.

The 25-year-old was limited to six contests as a rookie, and 13 last year. Even with three weeks remaining until the regular season opener, a six-week recovery timeline would involve multiple missed games. The Bears could place Jenkins on IR after their final 53-man roster is set, but doing so would guarantee a four-week absence. Davis has also missed time during training camp, though he has begun a return to action in practice. That should leave Chicago with one guard starter during Week 1, but the team will likely not have its ideal tandem at the position right away.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

NFC North Notes: Hooker, Bears, OL, Packers

Hendon Hooker‘s age (25) likely served as one of the factors for his fall into Round 3. The ACL tear the Tennessee product sustained in November undoubtedly led to him tumbling out of the second round, his widely viewed floor. The Lions now have a developmental quarterback who, despite being drafted seven years after Jared Goff, is barely three years younger than the Detroit starter. Dan Campbell did not view Hooker’s age as a major issue.

We did go into this offseason saying that we wanted to bring in some competition at quarterback,” Campbell said during an appearance on Green Light with Chris Long podcast (h/t Pro Football Talk). “We didn’t know exactly where that might be, who that would be at the time, but we did like Hooker. We knew he was coming off the injury, but there was something about him that was appealing. He’s very mature; he looks the part; he’s got a big arm. H’s just got to learn to play in the NFL. He’s a pro, now, and I like the fact that he was older. We all kind liked the fact that he was older. I think you want your quarterback to be more mature.”

The Lions have begun discussions on a Goff extension. For now, the third-year Detroit starter is tied to his Rams-constructed deal that runs through 2024. Although Hooker should not be viewed as an heir apparent just yet, his rookie deal runs through 2026. Here is the latest from the NFC North:

  • The Bears are set to hold a center competition between Cody Whitehair and Lucas Patrick. GM Ryan Poles said he is comfortable with either the longtime guard — who began his NFL career as a center — or the 2022 free agency pickup at center, Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com tweets. Whitehair, 31 in July, has started 107 games for the Bears, who drafted him in the 2016 second round. He spent the first three seasons of his career at center and has been on the radar to move since the Nate Davis free agent signing. A two-year Packers starter, Patrick started only five Bears games during an injury-plagued 2022 season.
  • Chicago will also move Teven Jenkins from right guard to left guard, Cronin adds (on Twitter), to accommodate Davis. The free agent pickup worked as the Titans’ starting right guard from 2019-22. Jenkins will soon move to a fourth O-line position. The Bears tried him at both tackle spots and dangled him in trade talks last year, but they saw the 2021 second-rounder show promise at guard last season. The other new Bears full-timer up front last season, Braxton Jones, is not moving from left tackle. Despite the addition of first-rounder Darnell Wright, Bears O-line coach Chris Morgan said (via Cronin) the team will keeping Jones at left tackle going into training camp. Wright logged more starts at right tackle (27) than left tackle (13) at Tennessee.
  • Set to hold their rookie minicamp later this week, the Lions will arrange for XFL return man Darrius Shepherd to try out. The XFL announced Shepherd, who also caught 48 passes for 519 yards with the St. Louis BattleHawks this season, will attend the Lions’ rookie camp. The 27-year-old wideout, a former UDFA out of North Dakota State, played for the Packers from 2019-20 but did not see NFL game action over the past two years.
  • One of the signees from this year’s International Pathway Program, the PackersKenneth Odumegwu, has never played organized football, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic tweets. The program, which expanded to two divisions (NFC North, AFC West) for the first time this year, provides an extra practice squad spot for an international player.

Bears Pursued Mike McGlinchey; Latest On Cody Whitehair, Teven Jenkins

Even after acquiring D.J. Moore, the Bears entered free agency with the NFL’s most cap space. But they stood down when it came to the top offensive linemen available.

Jawaan Taylor, Mike McGlinchey and Orlando Brown Jr. each signed for at least $16MM per year last week. The Bears could have obviously competed with the Chiefs, Broncos and Bengals for these blockers, but Ryan Poles‘ club did not. The team did try to land McGlinchey, however, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, with The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain confirming it was in on the new Broncos right tackle (subscription required).

As expected, McGlinchey landed a deal on Day 1 of the legal tampering period. The Broncos convinced the five-year 49ers right tackle to sign a five-year deal worth $87.5MM deal (fourth among right tackles), but McGlinchey did well to essentially secure three guaranteed years. His 2025 salary becomes fully guaranteed shortly after the 2024 league year begins, virtually locking in $52.5MM at signing. The Bears were not willing to go there, and the Broncos came from a place of desperation considering their track record at right tackle. Barring injury, McGlinchey will be Denver’s 11th Week 1 right tackle starter in 11 seasons.

Chicago pivoted from Larry Borom to Riley Reiff last season, but Reiff has since joined the Patriots on a one-year, $5MM deal. Reiff’s Pats pact includes $4.15MM guaranteed, per AtoZSports.com’s Doug Kyed (on Twitter). The deal includes up to $4MM in play-time incentives, Kyed adds. Borom would again be projected to start at right tackle, but the Bears will be connected to right-side options in the first round, The Athletic’s Adam Jahns adds.

This year’s draft includes top-10 tackle options Peter Skoronski, from nearby Northwestern, and Paris Johnson (Ohio State). The Bears have not drafted a tackle in Round 1 since Gabe Carimi in 2011, but Poles was with the Chiefs when they used the No. 1 overall pick on Eric Fisher two years later. With right tackle looking like the weak spot for Chicago up front, the team could use its No. 9 overall pick on one or trade down (again) to nab one of the other three first-round tackle prospects (Georgia’s Broderick Jones, Tennessee’s Darnell Wright, Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison). Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest mock sends Johnson to Chicago.

On the interior, the Bears may be prepared to move Cody Whitehair to solve the guard logjam they created by Nate Davis‘ three-year, $30MM deal. Poles said Whitehair will be an option to move back to center, citing the seven-year veteran’s nearly 4,000 snaps at the position. Whitehair played center primarily to start his career, working as Chicago’s snapper over his first three seasons before moving to guard in 2019 to accommodate a James Daniels position switch.

Whitehair shifting to center would allow the Bears to have he, Davis and Teven Jenkins as interior starters. While Davis played right guard with the Titans, the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs predicts Jenkins will stay at that position after showing considerable promise in 2022. Pro Football Focus rated Jenkins, whom the Bears tried at both tackle spots and dangled in trades last year, as the league’s No. 3 overall guard.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/4/23

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

  • Placed on IR: LB De’Jon Harris

Bears RB Khalil Herbert Expected To Return In Week 16; Latest On RG Teven Jenkins

Week 16 is set to bring about both positive and negative developments for the Bears’ offense from a health perspective. Running back Khalil Herbert is expected to make his return from injured reserve, per head coach Matt Eberflus.

Herbert has been sidelined for the past four games due to a hip injury. The timing of his IR placement made him eligible to to be activated in Week 15 at the earliest, which did not take place. The team made it clear that his injury was not expected to be season-ending, however, so a return in time for their Christmas Eve contest against the Bills would not come as a surprise.

The 2021 sixth-rounder flashed potential as a rookie when he totaled 529 scrimmage yards while playing a complimentary role to starter David Montgomery. He has taken a considerable step forward in 2022, posting 643 rushing yards at an average of 6.0 per carry, scoring four touchdowns on the ground. He has added 62 yards and another score in the passing game, making him an important member of Chicago’s league-leading rushing attack.

Especially with Montgomery approaching free agency, Herbert could soon be in line for an even larger workload in the near future. A return to the field would allow him to resume his impressive campaign, while providing the team with another rushing option to take some of the workload off of quarterback Justin Fields, something which should be a welcomed sight (though he has stated an intention of trying to break Lamar Jackson‘s single-season rushing record after becoming just the third QB to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark on Sunday).

In other injury news, right guard Teven Jenkins is in danger of missing the remainder of the season. The 24-year-old was carted off the field with a neck injury during the team’s loss to the Eagles. While Eberflus described the situation as “encouraging” after he was released from hospital yesterday, he added that it remains to be seen if Jenkins will be available for the final three games of the year.

“We’ll see,” Eberflus said, via the Associated Press, when asked about the former second-rounder. “We’ll see. I don’t know yet. I don’t know. All those injury reports will come out… or we’ll know more as time goes. But that’s where it is right now.”

After an underwhelming rookie season which led to trade talks and a shift from tackle to guard, the Oklahoma State product has enjoyed a more successful campaign in 2022. Jenkins has registered a PFF grade of 80.0, which ranks fourth amongst all qualifying guards. His loss would thus be a notable one if he is indeed unable to play again this year.

Bears Place G Cody Whitehair On IR, Designate WR N’Keal Harry For Return

The Bears will be without their most experienced offensive line starter for a while. They moved left guard Cody Whitehair to injured reserve Wednesday.

Whitehair, who is Chicago’s longest-tenured O-lineman by a considerable margin, suffered a knee injury during the team’s Week 4 loss to the Giants. The Bears are also opening N’Keal Harry‘s IR-return window. Harry will return to practice Wednesday, starting his 21-day activation clock. The Bears are expecting Whitehair back this season, Matt Eberflus said.

Also the only Bears blocker on a notable contract (five years, $51.25MM), Whitehair has been a starter throughout his seven-year run with the franchise. The Bears took Whitehair in the 2016 second round, and after an extensive run at center, the team moved the Kansas State product to guard. This will be a rare stay off the Bears’ 53-man roster for Whitehair, who has missed only two games in his career.

The rebuilding team has been using Lucas Patrick and Teven Jenkins in a right guard timeshare, but Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune expects that to cease for the time being. Patrick will likely slide to left guard to replace Whitehair, leaving Jenkins — whom the Bears have moved around the formation since drafting him in the 2021 second round — on the right side. A poor practice led Jenkins, who had started the first two games at right guard for the Bears, to the bench, Biggs adds. But the Oklahoma State product remained in the team’s rotation over the past two weeks. Whitehair’s injury will open the door to an extended audition for the player the previous regime viewed as a potential long-term left tackle.

Placed on IR shortly after roster cutdown, Harry would be eligible for an a Week 5 return. It remains to be seen if the Bears will deem their offseason trade acquisition ready. Harry underwent ankle surgery in mid-August and was believed to be facing a two-month recovery timetable. The Bears designating the ex-Patriots first-rounder for return certainly appears to show Harry is on schedule.

The Bears’ passing attack has plunged into a strange place. Justin Fields has set 21st-century lows to start his second season, with his 34 completions and 67 attempts both checking in below any quarterback this century through four games (among four-game starters). Any receiving help the second-year quarterback can get will be a bonus. The Bears did not make big-ticket receiver investments this offseason, instead taking a number of fliers. Harry, obtained for a 2024 seventh-round pick, was among them.

Harry began both the 2019 and ’21 seasons on IR and has a history of ankle trouble; an ankle malady led the Arizona State alum to IR as a rookie. Harry’s initial NFL injury threw off his development in New England’s then-complex offense. He started last season on IR because of a shoulder issue. The big-bodied target caught just 12 passes for 184 yards last season.