Bears rookie OT Teven Jenkins to have back surgery, team hopes he'll return this season

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Chicago Bears rookie left tackle Teven Jenkins will have back surgery and is likely out for a significant amount of time, head coach Matt Nagy announced Wednesday. 

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The Bears took Jenkins in the second round of the 2021 draft, trading up to snag him at No. 39. He was expected to go in the first round, but a previous back injury in college at Oklahoma State may have played a role in him falling down to Round 2. Nagy said that the team was aware of Jenkins' back injury history when they drafted him. 

“This is something — we were aware of [his] back issues in college, but these are symptoms that are new,” Nagy said via the Chicago Sun Times. “So this is something we’re dealing with. He’s at a point right now where we were trying different things to see if we could stay away from this. ...

“When you get to the word ‘surgery,’ obviously everyone gets concerned, you don’t want to hear that. But the goal is to get him back this year.”

Jenkins hasn't been able to practice for the entirety of training camp. He'd been seen rehabbing what Nagy had called "back tightness." 

While Nagy said the Bears' goal is to get Jenkins back this season, it's possible that might not be an option. They've already been preparing to be without Jenkins for significant time, having recently signed veteran left tackle Jason Peters.

Despite the automatic concern that comes with a young offensive tackle having back surgery before he has participated in a single training camp practice, Nagy seemed positive about how much the procedure will help Jenkins.

“It’s hard to put and say everything’s 100%,” he said, “but it sounds like once this happens and you get the surgery, that things should be fixed and pretty good. That’s the good part in this whole thing.”

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