By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS) — Bears offensive tackle Teven Jenkins will have back surgery on Wednesday, but head coach Matt Nagy said he’s hopeful the rookie will be back with the team this season.

Jenkins was projected to be the Bears’ starting left tackle after the team traded up to draft him in the second round of the NFL Draft, and promptly cut veteran left tackle Charles Leno Jr. to save salary cap space.

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However, Jenkins has not been able to practice with the Bears throughout training camp, as the team rehabbed his back injury.

The Bears traded up to draft Jenkins in the second round this past NFL draft despite knowing about his back issues in college.

Indeed, Nagy said the team was aware of previous back issues while Jenkins was playing for Oklahoma State, but the symptoms he’s been experiencing are new.

“We tried to hope to avoid the surgery with him, and we tried several treatments, but the goal is to get him back this season,” Nagy said. “For him, it’s important that now we put a plan in place, we attack it.”

Nagy called the surgery “a common procedure” and suggested the injury is not career-threatening.

“It sounds like once this happens and you get this surgery that things should be fixed and pretty good,” he said.

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Nagy said he can’t yet put a specific timeframe on Jenkins’ recovery.

Jenkins is just one of several starting offensive linemen who has been hampered by injuries in training camp. Right tackle Germain Ifedi has been on the physically unable to perform list since late July with a hip flexor injury, and James Daniels has been out since Aug. 3 with a quad injury, but is returning to practice on Wednesday. Rookie tackle Larry Borom remains in concussion protocol.

“This is one of those deals where you’ve got to be able to roll with the punches, and you’ve got to be able to accept news when it comes certain ways, and that’s all we’re going to do, and it’s going to give somebody else an opportunity,” Nagy said. “You never know, maybe we look at this, and somebody has a great shot or a great opportunity at turning this situation at left tackle into something positive.”

Those opportunities at left tackle are likely to go to veteran swing tackle Elijah Wilkinson – who started at left tackle in the Bears’ first preseason game against the Dolphins – and recently signed free agent left tackle Jason Peters, who has played 17 seasons in the NFL with the Eagles and Bills.

Peters, 39, was signed to a one-year deal earlier this week, and is expected to join the team in training camp on Thursday after going through the league’s required COVID protocol.

Meantime, the Bears are also holding rookie quarterback Justin Fields and second-year tight end Cole Kmet out of practice on Wednesday, though Nagy insisted their absences are merely precautionary; with Fields suffering from a sore groin, and Kmet dealing with hamstring tightness.

“Those two guys are … we’re going to pull back and make sure we gotta be smart there, and so we’re going to be smart with them. We’re going to pull back, and be conservative there. There’s nothing to read into it with either one of those guys. We’re just being smart,” Nagy said. “When you start messing with these soft tissue deals, you’ve got to be smart.”

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CBS 2 Chicago Staff