Bears

Mustipher: Jenkins put in 'tough situation' in OL debut

Bears

One of the moments Bears fans have been clamoring for over the past few weeks came to fruition on Sunday Night: Teven Jenkins getting his NFL first action at left tackle. It was a highly-anticipated look at what the future might be with Jenkins and Borom at the edges, protecting Justin Fields. Unfortunately it didn’t go all too well.

On Wednesday, center Sam Mustipher defended Jenkins, saying it was a “tough situation” coming in cold, as a rookie, after missing all of training camp and playing only a few special teams snaps the week before.

“Any time you have a guy who hasn't had an opportunity to play a lot of live football snaps throughout the year一 not only talking about game snaps, but just practice snaps in general一 that was tough.

“That was definitely not the situation you want to put him in for his first live-game action. But it’s kind of like baptism by fire.”

Fields concurred when speaking after the game.

“That’s a tough spot for Tev,” Fields said on Sunday night. “I know he wanted to play great today, and the sack he gave up, I just told him, ‘Look, it’s your first game, primetime, Sunday Night, you’re a rookie, first ever playing time right now, of course you’re going to make mistakes.”

In all, Jenkins was flagged for two false starts and two holding penalties. However one of those holdings was declined, as Jenkins also surrendered a strip sack on the play. It’s obviously not the debut Jenkins, or anyone at Halas Hall would’ve wanted. But it’s also not a reason to hit the panic button yet.

 

“Teven's a hard-working guy,” Mustipher said. “He's gonna get it right. He has the mental fortitude and understanding that in this league, it's the long game. You're gonna have situations like that where you're thrown into the fire and you just got to respond and react right away. Luckily for him, he's young. He's got a lot of football left in his career. It was a great learning experience.”

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