Chicago Bears: Is Teven Jenkins on Roquan Smith rookie year path to starting?

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

No one is raising serious concern around the status of Teven Jenkins but it has to be noted that we are now entering the second week of training camp and Jenkins has yet to strap up. It is early, and Matt Nagy has downplayed the injury saying that Jenkins is close to returning. However, this is a rookie who already is entering camp behind the eight ball as he tries to switch from right to left tackle with the Chicago Bears.

Jenkins may return tomorrow, or in the coming weeks so the severity of the injury may not be the issue as much as Jenkins not being able to get this time back, and now have him be behind a learning curve.

The Chicago Bears rookie is similar to 2018

If you remember the 2018 offseason Roquan Smith missed time for a different reason but came into camp with the same situation. The expectation for Smith and Jenkins is to start week one, but Smith had his holdout and entered camp behind the learning curve. He caught up quickly and started by week two, but the Chicago Bears did feel as though throwing him for week one was a bit much.

What was the Roquan Smith timeline during his rookie season?

Roquan Smith did not start week one but played sparingly. Then, he was thrown in for week two and did not look back. For what it is worth, Teven Jenkins is not quite to the length of Smith. Smith missed four weeks and did not return until August 14.

That is 12 more days, and considering that Jenkins has already missed one week and into week two, it would be about four weeks in 12 days. It is fair to say that even a week prior may have been too early for Smith to start week one.

So, in the case of Smith, the best situation would have been for him to get into camp by August 7th. With that in mind, you could argue a similar timeline would be in place for Jenkins. He can miss a few more days, but if he is not in camp by next Monday you have to wonder about his week one status.

Aside from being injured while Smith was holding out, Smith was a top 10 pick and was praised for his awareness and understanding at an elite level. Teven Jenkins slipped to the second round and will be transitioning from one side to the other. There is more for Jenkins to learn than Smith for him to be ready to start.

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Chicago Bears fans want Teven Jenkins to start week one, but as the days go by, the realization has to start to sink in that he is behind Elijah Wilkinson. No one is saying Wilkinson will start all season, but like Nick Kwiatkoski in 2018, he may hold the place for a rookie for a week or so.