Bears OT Teven Jenkins returns to practice after week-plus absence

Jenkins practiced Saturday after being out since the first day of training camp.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Bears offensive tackle Teven Jenkins was back at practice Saturday after missing more than a week with an unspecified injury.

Jenkins practiced the first day of training camp July 27, then was out the next seven practices. He was on the field, but spent most of his first day back watching from a distance.

Getting healthy is important, though not the only concern for Jenkins. Throughout offseason practices and at the start of training camp, it has appeared that he has faded to the background in the competition for starting jobs.

The Bears have been set on rookie Braxton Jones, a fifth-round pick from Southern Utah, at left tackle for the majority of their field work. Larry Borom has been working at right tackle, and veteran Riley Reiff is a contender for either job.

If the hierarchy is solidified with those three as the top tackles, it won’t be easy for Jenkins to secure a job. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy pushed back on the notion that Jenkins has already been squeezed out of the mix for a starting spot.

“This is an open [competition] — right, left, whatever,” Getsy said Friday. “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. Hopefully he takes advantage of the opportunities he’s going to get.

“He should be vying for a starting spot right now… He should be doing everything he can to own one of those two spots. There’s no question about that.”

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Former Bears general manager Ryan Pace traded up to draft Jenkins in the second round at No. 39 overall last year despite his history of back trouble and playing mostly at right tackle. He missed most of his rookie season after having back surgery in training camp and played six games, including two starts.

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Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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