Jenkins was among the best players in the NFL at his position last season based on advanced metrics calculated by Pro Football Focus (PFF). Unfortunately for him and the Bears offense, Jenkins suffered strained calf muscles in both legs during the preseason and began the year on the injured reserve list (IR), which guaranteed he would miss at least four games.
The offensive lineman took to Instagram on Thursday, September 28, and made a post involving a popular anime character that indicated Jenkins is healthy and ready to return for Chicago’s Week-5 matchup with the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football (October 5).
Nicholas Moreano of CHGO reposted Jenkins’ IG post to X, formerly known as Twitter, with an explanation of what it meant for the anime uninitiated.
“#Bears offensive lineman Teven Jenkins posted this on his Instagram an hour ago,” Moreano wrote. “If you haven’t watched Dragon Ball Z, just know this is a good sign for Jenkins. Teven = Goku 😎.”
Teven Jenkins Crucial to Patching Ragged Bears O-Line
Chicago’s offensive line was already a mess before injuries began ravaging it.
Starting guards Nate Davis and Cody Whitehair are among the worst players at their positions through three games, while Lucas Patrick is the second-worst center in the entire NFL, according to PFF analytics.
The Bears’ starting tackles have been the bright spot by simply playing slightly above-average for their positions this year. However, second-year left tackle Braxton Jones landed on IR following a neck injury he sustained during Chicago’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 2. Larry Borom filled in last weekend and will presumably continue to do so moving forward.
Jenkins’ return from IR literally can’t come soon enough. Chicago has allowed 13 sacks on the season, which is tied for the second-worst mark in the NFL with the Tennessee Titans. Only the Commanders’ offensive line has been worse in that regard, affording 19 sacks through three games.
Jenkins allowed just two sacks and committed only three penalties across 576 snaps at right guard in 2022. He will presumably replace Whitehair at left guard upon his likely return next week.
Bears Secondary Ravaged for Must-Win Game Vs. Broncos
Chicago’s secondary has been almost as bad as its offensive line this season, and things aren’t looking up for the unit heading into a must-win home game against the 0-3 Denver Broncos on Sunday.
After sending reserve defensive back Josh Blackwell to IR on Friday with a hamstring injury, the Bears also declared starting cornerback Jaylon Johnson (hamstring) and starting safety Eddie Jackson (foot) out for this weekend’s contest.
The team’s second starting cornerback, rookie Tyrique Stevenson, was on the injury report all week with an illness but appears likely to play against the Broncos.
Chicago is a 3.5-point underdog at home against Denver as of Saturday, according to Draft Kings Sportsbook.