On Wednesday morning, Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy announced that 2021 second-round pick Teven Jenkins would undergo back surgery. While a recovery timetable and details regarding the severity of the surgery are not available yet, Nagy says "the goal is to get him [Jenkins] back this year."
In most circumstances, you could trust that such an assertation would provide a reasonable timetable, but it's hard to take the Bears and Matt Nagy's word for it at this point. Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times outlines a timeline of Nagy's previous comments regarding Jenkins' status that raises questions.
Nagy was asked about the status of Teven Jenkins in every single press conference leading up to the surgery and none of his previous responses indicated surgery would be required. To be fair to Nagy, we don't know how much of his lack of transparency is influenced by members of the front office, but his delivery is still uninspiring at best, and it's not the first time the Bears have found themselves in a murky injury situation. Remember what happened with Trey Burton in 2019?
"I was misdiagnosed with an injury before the season last year... I had (last-minute) surgery that was pretty serious and very extensive, and I tried to get back to playing. I was kind of rushed back into playing and didn't necessarily have the time to recover I should have had."
While Trey Burton is a sore spot for Bears fans, the handling of his injury was undoubtedly an egregious mistake by the Bears' medical team. I am not a doctor and I will never claim to have more knowledge than one, but how do you miss a sports hernia? Why were all those reports about anxiety coming out around the same time? It was just weird, much like the Cody Whitehair scenario in 2020.
Again, Nagy's response outlined in the tweet above just indicates strange behavior. I can understand some discretion when it comes to reporting injuries. There is an element of gamesmanship to a coach telling reporters he's unsure of the status of his rookie left tackle to leverage a possible free agent into signing a smaller contract, but the Bears were pursuing a player far past his prime in Jason Peters.
There will never be full transparency when it comes to coaches unloading vital details to the media. Providing small bits of information without disclosing the full scope of what's going on behind the scenes is just part of the dynamic. But if you look at the timeline of Matt Nagy's comments regarding the status of Teven Jenkins to date, it's borderline deceptive.
There has also been speculation that Jenkins injured himself further when he was spotted pulling a weighted sled up a hill at the start of training camp. I can't say if this claim is true, but the lack of transparency and appearance of deception is not necessarily the best route to take when Chicago media and the Bears fan base smell blood in the water. It just doesn't make any sense.