Bears' Teven Jenkins to undergo back surgery, may return this season

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What Teven Jenkins back surgery means for Bears O-Line originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The bad news surrounding Teven Jenkins’ back has gotten worse. Matt Nagy announced that Jenkins will undergo surgery on Wednesday to try to fix the nagging issue.

Jenkins has not practiced at all during Bears training camp due to the back injury. Initially Nagy was optimistic that Jenkins could return to practice soon, and called him “day-to-day.” As the days turned into weeks, however, Nagy stayed positive, reassuring all that Jenkins’ arrow continued to point up, even if his progress was slow.

Now the timeline shifts to whether or not Jenkins can play this season at all.

“I'm learning too on that whole timeline thing,” Nagy said. “It wouldn't be fair to the kid, either, to give an exact timeline. But to be able to know that the goal is to get him back this year is really where we're at right now.”

While Nagy declined to provide a timeline for Jenkins’ return, Adam Schefter reported that the team hopes Jenkins could return by November, but that there’s also a real chance he misses the entire season.

Regardless of when Jenkins returns, the Bears remain hopeful that once he’s recovered from this surgery, it should be the end of his back issues.

“From everything I’m hearing, it sounds very, very positive, that once this is done that it shouldn’t be— again, it’s hard to put and say everything’s 100%— but it sounds like once this happens and you get the surgery, that things should be fixed and pretty good,” Nagy said. “That’s the good part in this whole thing.”

Nagy did acknowledge that the team was aware that Jenkins had back issues dating back to his time at Oklahoma State. But he maintained that the symptoms that Jenkins is experiencing now are new.

In the meantime, Elijah Wilkinson and newcomer Jason Peters will compete for the starting left tackle job, and each man carries questions of his own. Wilkinson has never played extensively on the left side, and Nagy has said he’s looking for more consistency out of him. Peters is a Hall-of-Fame caliber player, but he’s 39-years-old and coming off of a toe injury that limited him to eight games last season.

Going into this season, left tackle was a position filled with question marks. Unfortunately for the Bears, they have more questions now, with under one month until Week 1.

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