Bears Have 3 Starters With New Injuries, Including Potentially Concerning Setback

Teven Jenkins

Getty Teven Jenkins popped up on the Bears injury report on November 2.

The Chicago Bears are set to get starting left guard Cody Whitehair back off injured reserve, but they also had one of their most potentially concerning injury reports in recent weeks.

According to the Bears’ November 2 injury report, the team had four starters listed, three of whom have new injuries.

With offensive lineman Larry Borom missing practice again with a concussion, the Bears also added safety Eddie Jackson (hip), right guard Teven Jenkins (back) and cornerback Kyler Gordon (hip) to the injury report. It remains to be seen how serious Jackson or Gordon’s hip issues are, but the name to watch here is Jenkins, who had a slow start to his rookie campaign with the Bears after having back surgery.

Bears head coach Matt Eberflus announced that Whitehair was going on IR on October 5, and now, Whitehair’s 21-day window to return from the insured reserve list is officially open, but he could return as soon as Week 9, when the Miami Dolphins come to town.

Cody Whitehair Likely to Return vs Dolphins

The sooner Whitehair returns to the starting lineup, the better for the Bears. A team captain, Whitehair is Chicago’s longest-tenured O-lineman and a core member of the offense.

Whitehair earned a 76.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in the 189 total snaps he played on offense prior to the injury. He allowed three total pressures (no sacks, QB hits or hurries) in 89 pass rush snaps, so the Bears and quarterback Justin Fields will be glad to have him.

“We’ll se where he is,” Eberflus said about Whitehair on November 2. “He’s in a good spot mentally. He has been working his tail off with the guys in the rehab. His strengths numbers are good. His jump numbers are good. His velocity and speed in his jumps are good. We think he is going to be good.”

Bears insider Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported that if Whitehair was designated to return on November 2, it was a good “sign he could be back in the starting lineup at left guard” against Miami.

Teven Jenkins Situation Worth Monitoring

Jenkins has arguably been the Bears’ best offensive linemen this year, and easily their most physical. The second-year standout has earned a 78.6 overall grade from PFF, allowing eight pressures and a sack in 197 pass block snaps.

It’s possible Jenkins was taking a maintenance day and that’s why he didn’t participate, but considering how Eberflus and his staff have emphasized the importance of practice, that seems unlikely. Regardless, seeing Jenkins listed with a back injury is not what Bears fans want to see.

The young O-lineman missed part of his final season at Oklahoma State due to a back injury and he also missed significant time as a rookie in 2021 after having surgery to fix the problem.

“I don’t see this being a problem ever again, because there’s not any screws in me, there’s nothing in me, it’s not like that,” Jenkins said in December of 2021. “It’s just clean-cut, amazing. So I don’t feel like it’s ever going to be a problem again.”

Jenkins played in six games last year post-surgery, starting two, and he has appeared in all eight games for the Bears so far this year. Hopefully it’s minor or nothing at all, but seeing Jenkins on the injury report with a back problem is absolutely something to monitor, and could be a cause for concern if he misses more time.

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