Bears Make Final Decision on Top Rookie’s Status This Season

Matt Nagy

Getty Head coach Matt Nagy of the Chicago Bears announced the team is set to activated rookie OL Teven Jenkins for the first time this season.

Chicago Bears rookie offensive lineman Teven Jenkins could finally see action in his first NFL game.

Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced on December 3 that Jenkins was set to be activated for the first time this season heading into the team’s Week 13 game against the Arizona Cardinals.

The rookie tackle underwent back surgery in August, and has spent the last 3+ months recovering. The team moved up to No. 39 to snag the the 6-foot-6, 321-pounder in the second round of the draft this year with the hopes he would be the future at left tackle, but Nagy noted we wouldn’t be seeing Jenkins in the starting lineup just yet, suggesting he would be backing up 39-year-old vet Jason Peters.

“He provides a lot of depth to us, and we have a position there at left tackle where Jason Peters is playing pretty well,” Nagy said about Jenkins on December 3. “And that’s a good thing, so you always need as many o-linemen as you can have. We’ve been on the other side where the injury bug has hit us, so it’s been difficult to get through that. But right now we like depth.”

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Nagy Indicated Jenkins Will Be Taking Some Special Teams Snaps

Nagy also noted that Jenkins will likely get snaps with the kicking team on field goal and extra point attempts

“All of that, just kind of the little things that we take for granted sometimes, that’s what’s nice about those preseason games, there’s just little things you want to do. For him, it’s going to be that,” Nagy said, adding:

“At the same point in time, if you’re up and you’ve got pads on and you’re out there, you better be ready because you never know. So, mindset-wise, that’s what I’ve been impressed with with Teven is, I really believe he’s grown a lot from the day he got here until now mentally with just understanding how this game works. I think from him, there was probably like, with any of the pain he was having and if that affected any of his play, now he feels good, so that helps you mentally, too. At the same point in time, you gotta go out and always be ready. You just never know. I think for him, he’s going to be excited to have that opportunity.”

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Jenkins & Justin Fields Won’t Be on the Field at the Same Time — Yet

Nagy also revealed on December 3 that rookie quarterback Justin Fields will be out for the second straight game due to cracked ribs. Fields has yet to receive medical clearance to play, Nagy said, so veteran QB Andy Dalton will make his second straight start for Chicago.

Fields went down in the team’s Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens and has yet to return to action. Many fans are looking forward to seeing the Bears’ top two rookies from the 2021 draft on the field at the same time, but that’s going to have to wait, at least one more week, maybe longer.

“No matter what the injury is, there’s always going to be some hesitation when it’s your ribs,” Nagy said about Fields’ injury. “Just the simple things of throwing, dropping back, stretching out to hand the ball off. Whatever it is, all that stuff, he’s improved with that and the pain has gotten better and better. So we just keep communicating.”

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