Jenkins 'all in' during meetings, in mix for starting job when back originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
LAKE FOREST – Teven Jenkins missed practice once again Friday at Halas Hall, his seventh straight absence at Bears training camp.
Head coach Matt Eberflus said Jenkins' absence was 100 percent related to the injury the young tackle is working through with the training staff, not the swirling trade rumors.
While Jenkins hasn't been on the field since Day 1 of camp, offensive coordinator Luke Getsy says the 24-year-old has been present and locked in during offensive meetings.
"Teven's been great," Getsy said Friday, "He's been attentive. He's all in. Once he gets through this deal, he'll be back out there ready to rock and roll."
Eight days into training camp, the Bears still are searching for the best offensive line combination to put in front of quarterback Justin Fields.
Of late, rookie Braxton Jones has been getting all the first-team snaps at left tackle while Riley Reiff and Larry Borom have rotated at right. Reiff has been getting more snaps than Borom since the pads went on Tuesday.
With a murky offensive line picture, could Jenkins still factor into the equation with the starting group?
"He's going to get thrown right into the mix of this competition at the tackles, too," Getsy said. "I mean, that's… this is an open — right, left, whatever. We're trying to find the best five, so when he gets back, he's someone who's super talented, that should jump in there and hopefully he takes advantage of the opportunities he's going to get."
When Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus took over this offseason, they informed Jenkins he would play right guard and get first crack at that starting spot. After a handful of OTA practices, the Bears moved Jenkins to the second team as Jones took over as the first team left tackle and Borom shifted over to right.
During his lone practice day in training camp, Jenkins' only first-team action came as an extra eligible blocker.
Eberflus said all of this is part of the Bears' plan to evaluate different offensive line combinations. That's possible. The more likely scenario is the Bears love Jones, who they drafted in the fifth round, and don't see a place for Jenkins, who was drafted by the previous regime, in their long-term plans.
The Bears are adamant Jenkins' absence is health-related, and he is day-to-day. When he returns, he'll compete alongside Borom, Jones, and Reiff, who the Bears signed at the start of camp.
That's the company line, for now, at least.