Bears giving Teven Jenkins a look at guard

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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (670 The Score) -- As offensive lineman Teven Jenkins looks to build his case to be in the Bears’ plans, he's getting a new opportunity to showcase himself.

Jenkins moved from right tackle to right guard during practice Monday morning at Halas Hall. It marked the first time he has worked at that position in the NFL. The shift offers Jenkins the chance to prove his versatility on the Bears’ offensive line and potentially will strengthen his case to be on the active roster for the regular season.

“Guards get stressed mentally more than tackles do in this system,” Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy said. “That's the strength of his game. So, we want to try that and see what that looks like within what we're trying to get done.”

A second-round pick of the Bears in 2021, Jenkins seems to have a battle on his hands in order to make the team’s initial 53-man roster. He fell out of favor with Chicago’s new regime during the offseason program and has been the subject of trade speculation. Jenkins then had a week-long absence to open training camp after suffering an unspecified injury.

Jenkins, 24, played in just six games as a rookie in 2021 after undergoing back surgery last August. It was clear that new Bears general manager Ryan Poles didn't prioritize Jenkins in the same way the previous regime did after Jenkins was demoted to the second-team offensive line in favor of rookie offensive tackle Braxton Jones.

Despite his uncertain future, Jenkins has worked to make an impression on the Bears. That hasn’t come easy as he’s dealt with speculation regarding his future with the team, as he heard unfounded claims that he was clashing with the coaching staff and as he dealt with another injury.

“I was dealing with a lot of things at the time,” Jenkins said Saturday after the Bears beat the Chiefs in their preseason opener. “Everybody knew what was going on. Things started to cool down, I got to play football. I just come out here and play.”

Jenkins worked at right tackle with the Bears' second-team offense Saturday, playing 36 snaps against the Chiefs. He started two games at right guard at Oklahoma State.

The current makeup of the Bears' starting offensive line has Jones at left tackle, Cody Whitehair at left guard, Sam Mustipher at center in place of the injured Lucas Patrick (hand), Michael Schofield at right guard and Riley Reiff at right tackle. That leaves six offensive linemen competing for roster spots. Second-year tackle Larry Borom seems secure in his quest to earn a roster spot, and veteran Shon Coleman is competing for a swing tackle position.

The Bears also have three rookie draft picks – center Doug Kramer, guard Ja’Tyre Carter and guard Zachary Thomas – who are competing for a place on the active roster or could be waived and signed to the practice squad. Chicago will likely have nine or 10 offensive linemen on its initial roster.

Jenkins knows well he must earn his place in the Bears’ plans, and now he has a new chance and refreshed mindset.

“Everything right now is important for me,” Jenkins said. “I’m feeling good.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.

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