Despite Teven Jenkins undergoing back surgery in August, it appears the Bears will see their second-round pick on the field this season. The rookie tackle is back on Chicago’s 53-man roster.
The Bears activated Jenkins from IR on Saturday, a move Matt Nagy indicated was on tap ahead of Week 13. While it is not certain if Jenkins will move into the starting lineup soon, his seeing any time this year can be viewed as progress. The Oklahoma State product faced the prospect of missing his rookie season.
Chicago parted ways with longtime tackle starters Charles Leno and Bobby Massie this offseason and moved to sign Jason Peters after Jenkins’ injury. Peters’ extensive injury history notwithstanding, the 39-year-old veteran has started every game for the Bears this season. Jenkins received reps at both the left and right tackle spots during training camp, so it will be interesting to see how the Bears deploy him to start his career.
Jenkins was the fifth tackle off the board in this year’s draft. He started 35 games at Oklahoma State, helping Chuba Hubbard earn Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year acclaim in 2019 and earning first-team all-conference recognition last year. With the Bears having an 18th-year veteran at left tackle and having not invested much on the right side, Jenkins will be given every opportunity to be a long-term starter up front.