Everything we learned from Bears OT Teven Jenkins’ press conference

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There was some good news on Saturday with Bears offensive tackle Teven Jenkins returning to the practice field after missing seven straight training camp practices with an undisclosed injury.

Jenkins didn’t do much — he was a limited participant — but it was certainly encouraging given he missed the entirety of training camp as a rookie dealing with a back injury.

Not only was Jenkins back at practice, he met with the media for the first time this summer, where he addressed a variety of topics ranging from reports that he’s clashing with coaches to trade reports to his future in Chicago.

Here’s everything we learned from Jenkins’ press conference following his return to training camp practice:

Jenkins has been in the training room dealing with an injury

AP Photo/David Banks

Jenkins returned to the practice field on Saturday, where he participated in individual drills. But he’d missed the previous seven practices with an undisclosed injury.

Jenkins said he’s been in the training room working with trainers, which is what head coach Matt Eberflus had previously said. But when asked about what specifically he was working on, Jenkins wouldn’t comment.

“I don’t want to disclose that right now,” he said.

Was the injury related to his back?

“Not gonna disclose that right now,” he said.

Eberflus said that Jenkins is entering his ramp-up period as he gets back up to speed. Jenkins said that he expects to be back to 100% in a couple of days. Right now, he’s about 90%.

Jenkins said his lengthy absence was “for the betterment of my health. We had to make sure I was 100%.”

Jenkins denies clashing with coaches

AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski

When Jenkins missed his first couple of practices, there were obvious injury concerns given his history. But things got interesting when a report surfaced that his injury was the least of his worries.

According to ESPN 1000 and NBC Sports Chicago’s David Kaplan, Jenkins was clashing with the new coaching staff.

“From what I’m hearing, it’s not a serious injury,” Kaplan said. “What I’m hearing is that there’s a high level of disconnect between Teven and the new coaching staff, especially Chris Morgan, the new offensive line coach.”

Jenkins said reports that he was “clashing with coaches” are “totally not true.”

“From my understanding, I love the coaches,” Jenkins said. “We have no animosity towards each other. And that’s it.”

Jenkins remains mum on trade reports

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Following reports about a disconnect between Jenkins and the coaching staff, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport the Bears received calls and had entertained trade talks involving Jenkins. It was also confirmed by ESPN’s Peggy Kusinski, who said the Bears are actively seeking a trade.

Jenkins was asked about whether he’d had discussions with general manager Ryan Poles about those trade rumors.

“The only one I talk to is my agent, Joel Segal,” Jenkins said.

As for what his agent said? “I don’t want to disclose any of that,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins expects to be on the Bears roster when the regular season begins

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There’s been plenty of speculation surrounding Jenkins’ future in Chicago, even before the trade rumors started. After all, Jenkins was demoted to the second-team back in the spring, and he remained there at the start of training camp.

But Jenkins said he expects to be on the roster when the regular season begins.

“Do I expect to be here in the regular season? Yeah,” he said.

While Jenkins was limited during Saturday’s practice, he’s expecting to take team reps in practice starting Sunday. He also said he believes he’ll be ready for next Saturday’s preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

With all of the drama unfolding around him, Jenkins said that he wants to be in Chicago.

“It’s Chicago. Who’s not happy in Chicago?” he said. “A lot of things to do.”

As for the outside speculation about his future with the Bears, Jenkins is focused on football.

“Really can’t comment to that,” he said. “It’s just how it is. It’s just how it goes. That’s life. Life’s hard.”

Jenkins feels like he still has an opportunity to win a starting job

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Jenkins started the spring with the first-team at right tackle, which is his natural position from college. But in the final week of OTAs, he was demoted to the second-team as the Bears elevated rookie Braxton Jones to left tackle and shifted Larry Borom over to right tackle. It’s a combination that lasted for the remainder of the spring and into the start of training camp.

Jenkins faces an uphill battle to win a starting job, where Jones and veteran Riley Reiff appear to be the favorites to start at left tackle and right tackle.

Still, Jenkins believes there’s an opportunity for him to start, which comes from belief in himself. He does feel like he’s gotten a fair shake from the new regime despite being moved from first-team to second-team.

“I want to be here in Chicago so I’m playing wherever they want me to play,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins is still with the Bears...for right now

AP Photo/David Banks

One thing that stood out to me during Jenkins’ press conference was his repeated use of the phrase “right now” when discussing his future with the Bears. In fact, he even said it three times in one sentence.

Despite Jenkins reaffirming that he wants to be in Chicago, it’s hard not to look at the situation — and watch his body language — and not think that he might benefit from a fresh start elsewhere.

“I’m here with the Chicago Bears right now,” he said.

Still, Jenkins considers himself a loyal guy. So he’s embracing his opportunity with the Bears. You know, for right now.

“I’m a loyal-type guy,” he said. “The Chicago Bears, they drafted me. So I’m going with the Chicago Bears until whenever it is.”

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Story originally appeared on Bears Wire