After the Chicago Bears’ win over the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football in Week 10, center Lucas Patrick praised third-year guard Teven Jenkins. Patrick cited Jenkins’ growth and his return from an injury as some of the reasons.
“I don’t think the media truly understand what he’s done,” Patrick told Clocker Sports on November 11. “What he’s done as a man, what he’s done in the building. … He might be one of the best guards in football. Nobody’s really talking about it. But I put his name up there. That’s the confidence I have in him.”
“It means everything to me,” Jenkins told Clocker Sports on November 15. “For me to hear that, it’s very high praise.
Jenkins is the Bears’ third highest-graded offensive lineman, per Pro Football Focus. The only two linemen graded higher were Braxton Jones and Dan Feeney. Jones missed six weeks (to Jenkins’ five) on injured reserve while Feeney has logged three snaps all season.
Lucas Patrick’s Praise ‘Means Everything’ to Teven Jenkins
Nothing New From Lucas Patrick
Patrick uplifted Justin Fields after an early sack in Week 6 versus the Minnesota Vikings. That was the game where the latter suffered a thumb injury that sidelined him. Patrick also gave Tyson Bagent a pep talk ahead of his first start in Week 5 versus the Las Vegas Raiders.
“He is a very vocal leader,” Jenkins said. “He’s the one that gets us going on game day, and he gets us going in practices, meetings, and all that. He’s one of the dudes that takes the lead and charge of understanding what we need to know, understanding what we need to get. He does a great job with that.”
“I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s Justin Fields or anyone – Bill Murray on our practice squad,” Patrick said after the Week 6 loss. “I’m gonna have every guy’s back.”
Lucas Patrick Sends Message to Cody Whitehair
Head coach Matt Eberflus said that Nate Davis will return to the starting lineup and be in his usual right guard spot. Davis has been out for the last four weeks with an ankle injury. This moves Jenkins back to left guard. That is notable primarily because Jenkins had paired well alongside right tackle Darnell Wright in Davis’ absence.
But the reshuffle also moves Cody Whitehair, who has struggled this season, to the bench.
Cody whitehair has played a long time for the bears. He’s played hurt, been moved around back and forth between positions. He never complained once. He’s out of the lineup Sunday. Instead of celebrating how about tipping your cap. I’m sure the guys in the room have
— kyle (@Ky1eLong) November 16, 2023
Patrick signed to be the starter last offseason. But he entered the season backing up Whitehair. He shared his message to his teammate who has started all 117 of his appearances as a Bear.
“No matter what the case is, if somebody slides in or somebody slides out, you gotta be a pro and put the team first,” Patrick said after Wednesday’s practice. “It’s not easy. But, typically, good things come to good people.”
Bears, Justin Fields Heading for Crossroads
With Wednesday’s news that Fields would be returning under center in Week 11, Eberflus was asked if seven games was enough time for the quarterback to cement his spot as QB1 for the franchise. The same franchise that traded up to the No. 11 overall pick in the draft to select him in 2021. Of course, that was under a different regime.
Eberflus instead said that it was enough time for Fields to show consistency. He cited Fields’ decision-making as one of the key factors.
Fields, however, said he wasn’t playing to prove anything necessarily.
That may be the case. But the franchise is about to be presented with the opportunity to select a quarterback at the top of the draft for the second year in a row. Despite some of the strengths that Fields has displayed, there are enough questions that his tenure may be coming to an end.