Before officially demoting Teven Jenkins to the second team, Matt Eberflus and the offensive coaching staff should try him at right guard.
Jenkins’ demotion was a surprise because, if the Bears had any questions about his ability to play right tackle, why didn’t they do more to address the position in the offseason? As it stands, the team promoted fifth-round rookie Braxton Jones to left tackle and moved 2021 fifth-rounder Larry Borom to right tackle, with Jenkins taking snaps with the second team.
Eberflus has said it was always part of the team’s plan to move players around, but that excuse doesn’t make sense for a variety of reasons. For starters, the team didn’t even have Jones until the draft. If they planned on having a draft pick seriously compete for playing time, they would’ve spent an earlier pick on the position. Secondly, it isn’t as if Jenkins is in a rotation, he was firmly on the second team, with Borom switching positions to take Jenkins’ starting reps. Lastly, the idea that they’re getting a good look at offensive linemen at this point is flawed because they have yet to see the players do any blocking.
It’s hard to figure out how Jenkins could’ve lost the job or why they made the move at all, but — anyway you figure it — it doesn’t look good for Jenkins’ 2022 outlook, at least not at tackle.
There is so much we don’t know, but assuming Jenkins is physically capable of playing, the team would be wise to try him at guard instead of forcing a competition at tackle.