Chicago Bears rookie tackle Teven Jenkins says he hasn’t felt this good since high school.
In his first meeting with the media since recovering from back surgery in August, Jenkins had some revealing things to say about the back injury he suffered after getting drafted by the team in the second round this year. He had some lower back issues in college at Oklahoma State, but he sustained a new injury during training camp that lingered through OTAs, and the team has been guarded about what happened.
“There were many different things we did before the surgery route because that was our last resort,” Jenkins said on December 8. “I’m trying not to give you guys too much detail about everything, but ultimately it was different symptoms from what was going on in college. It was a whole different situation.”
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Jenkins Admits to Pushing Too Hard
“I probably pushed myself out there a little bit faster because I had that urge to … I wanted to get back on the field, I don’t care if it’s hurt, and maybe I did push myself a little bit too much and made it a little worse and that’s what ended up going on to get surgery,” Jenkins admitted.
He also talked about the level of pain he was dealing with on a daily basis.
“I could feel like when it was going on, my nerves, in my legs, down my legs, it was just terrible. It was unbearable. Like you couldn’t — sometimes I took steps, it was bad, anything, getting up out of my seat it was bad — but other than that, it was just totally different than what I was dealing with.”
The 6-foot-6, 320-pound rookie says he feels better than ever now that he’s healed from the surgery, which is a good sign.
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Jenkins Says He Could Play a Full Game if Needed
When asked when he last felt this good physically, he gave an affirming answer: “This good physically? Probably 18 years old. Fresh out of high school going to college. Feel like a young buck.”
The rookie OL took the field for the first time in his NFL career Week 13, playing just two snaps on special teams. The plan right now according to head coach Matt Nagy is for Jenkins to sit behind 39-year-old future Hall of Famer Jason Peters for the remaining five games, which Jenkins says he’s fine with.
“I’d say my goals are to, one, keep on learning from Jason Peters. That’s my No. 1 goal, to keep learning from him. And keep on growing knowledge to get at least some of what he can give me. You know? Some of that. That’s it. The rest of my goals is to keep on doing what the team asks me. That’s the most I can do right now.”
Could the rookie play a full four quarters, should the need arise, though?
“Yes, but that’s entirely up to the coaches though of course,” Jenkins said. “It’s up to them and I trust the process of what they’re doing and how they’re handling the situation and I just want to keep on going with what they tell me to do.”
You can watch Jenkins’ full interview below: