Chicago Bears: Teven Jenkins is in a prime spot for a bounce-back game

Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Once Jason Peters went down with an ankle injury last week while the Chicago Bears faced the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football in Lambeau Field, things drastically changed on the offensive line. It was now time for the Oklahoma State rookie, Teven Jenkins to get his first offensive live reps (had two special teams snaps in Week 14) since having back surgery this year, prior to the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Unfortunately for Jenkins, things could’ve gone better for the second-round draft selection.

Giving up a couple of sacks, as well as being flagged four times, wasn’t how Jenkins would’ve liked to perform; and Justin Fields confirmed some of those speculations on Jenkins being hard on himself, in which Fields said: “…it’s going to get better.”

Why the Chicago Bears should expect better from Teven Jenkins this week

That being said, there was a reason the Chicago Bears took Jenkins in the second round. That reason is that Teven Jenkins was seen as an offensive tackle that could cement himself as the bodyguard of Justin Fields. Monday Night is Jenkins’ first chance to start a game, rather than be put into it unexpectedly.

Sure, the backups should be ready to come in at any time, but for a rookie to be placed into a game out of nowhere against a division rival in their house can’t be an easy task.

Now, Jenkins gets to go into the game knowing he’s starting, which should allow the young tackle to be more prepared than he might’ve been going into Sunday Night against the Packers.

Thankfully for the Chicago Bears and Teven Jenkins, the Minnesota Vikings only get to the quarterback on 38% of their pass rushes. That ranks 22nd in the entire league, and even though the Green Bay Packers rank 26th in team pass rush win rate, Preston Smith and Rashan Gary are far from the easiest guys to block for a rookie tackle. Not only that, but the Packers have been on a consistent upwards tick on defense, while the Minnesota Vikings haven’t shown nearly as much fight on the defensive side of the ball.

Considering the Vikings are down Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffin, Minnesota will have to rely on D.J. Wonnum and Patrick Jones II to give Teven Jenkins a tough time on the edge. Personally, I find that to be a harder idea to subscribe to.

Do I expect Teven Jenkins to play like a Hall of Famer? No, that’d be ridiculous. However, I do think this game has big “bounce back” potential for the rookie Teven Jenkins.

Next. Reasons why Justin Fields is head-coach proof. dark

Even if he doesn’t play lights out, there should be a similar tone when evaluating him as there is with evaluating Justin Fields. As long as there are continuous and evident signs of progression, I’m a happy camper; and so should Chicago Bears fans as a whole.