Matt Nagy: Bears were 'well aware' that Teven Jenkins had back issues in college

Jenkins has been sidelined for all of training camp.

(670 The Score) The Bears had high hopes for offensive tackle Teven Jenkins after trading up to select him in the second round of the NFL Draft last spring, but they haven’t had the opportunity to evaluate him yet in training camp.

Jenkins has been sidelined from every practice due to a back injury, raising questions about his availability for the regular-season opener on Sept. 12 and causing worry about what the ailment could mean for his long-term health. Bears coach Matt Nagy understands those worries but added that Jenkins suffering from back issues hasn’t caught the team by surprise. The organization was “well-aware” of Jenkins’ back ailment when he was drafted, Nagy said on the Mully & Haugh Show on Wednesday morning. Jenkins missed his final three games at Oklahoma State in the 2020 season due to a back injury.

“Teven is doing everything he can right now to get through this,” Nagy said. “We were well aware of everything, with some of the back issues that he had in college. Right now, this is just a part of the process, and we know that. So we’re just going to keep staying positive with him, and we have a plan with Andre Tucker, our head trainer, and our doctors. Obviously, Teven is frustrated, because he wants to be out here with his brothers. But right now, that’s not the case. He’s just doing everything he can do each day to get better in the training room.”

Jenkins was -- and still is, once he's healthy -- set to be in a competition for the starting left tackle job. With Jenkins out, Elijah Wilkinson was listed as the starting left tackle when the Bears released an unofficial depth chart Tuesday.

“In the meantime, we got to focus on what we have right now going on there,” Nagy said. “I think it’s been well-stated that that’s an open competition. That’s going to be one of our No. 1 objectives, is making sure we go about that thing the right way. And I’ll just say this – Juan Castillo as our offensive line coach, I put a lot of stock and trust into him. I really believe that regardless of where this thing goes and how it gets there, I have confidence in knowing we as coaches and him as a coach specifically at that position, that we’ll be able to get through this thing.”

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