LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- Teven Jenkins only played 37 snaps during the Bears' 40-20 win over the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field last Thursday, but they were 37 relatively flawless snaps for a player fresh off a calf injury that sidelined him for a month.
Jenkins didn't allow a pressure in 16 pass-blocking snaps, per Pro Football Focus, and received a run-blocking grade of 76.0.
"We liked Teven in there," head coach Matt Eberflus said Monday at Halas Hall. "Teven did a really nice job in there coming back. I think he had 37 plays, I want to say. But he performed well, and of course, you’ve got to knock a little rust off. There was certainly that part of it, but he did a really good job in there, and there’s certainly a good player in there. He gives us a lot of size in there and a lot of lean mass to hold the pocket firm inside there."
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Chicago sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
The Bears had Jenkins on a pitch count for his season debut, having him go two series on and two off to get his feet wet.
Eberflus was non-commital Monday about whether or not Jenkins would be the full-time left guard Sunday when the Bears host the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field.
After the win over the Commanders, Jenkins said he played more than expected but felt good. He said he'd leave it up to the coaches as to how they want to deploy him going forward.
The health of the rest of the Bears' offensive line might play a role in whether or not Jenkins remains on a pitch count in Week 6.
Center Lucas Patrick left the win over the Commanders with a concussion, forcing the Bears to shift Cody Whitehair from left guard to center and insert second-year guard Ja'Tyre Carter into the rotation with Jenkins. While Jenkins was on the bench, Carter struggled at left guard, giving up two pressures and a sack in six pass-blocking snaps.
If Patrick can't play Sunday, the Bears might have no choice but to take Jenkins off his pitch count. Carter has been OK at right guard but struggled at left guard against the Commanders. The Bears have found their rhythm on offense over the last two weeks, fueled by a more potent ground game and better protection for quarterback Justin Fields. They can't risk stalling their positive offensive momentum by platooning Jenkins with Carter at left guard.
If Patrick can play Sunday, another week of a Jenkins-Whitehair platoon could make sense. But the Bears need Jenkins, who is arguably their best offensive lineman, to be full-go and ready to play every snap as soon as possible.
Jenkins looked the part in his season debut against the Commanders.
The Bears ran behind him on almost every one of his 21 run-blocking snaps. He's a physical, nasty road grader who also pitched a clean sheet against Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne.
It was only 37 snaps, but those 37 snaps were a clear reminder of Jenkins' elite potential, which was born out in one indisputable statistic.
Zero pressures allowed against one of the best defensive lines in football? Not bad for a guy knocking off some rust.