On Saturday, former Bears tackle Jimbo Covert will finally get officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with a ceremony after being in the 2020 class.
Covert's career was cut short, and it always seemed questionable he might make it to the hall even though he was a member of the NFLs All-Decade Team for the 1980s. A back injury caused his demise.
Since Covert played, it seems that one injury after another has hit the Bears at the tackle position and in 2008 first-round tackle Chris Williams had to sit out half his rookie year and never started that season following surgery to repair a herniated disc he actually had since he was at Vanderbilt.
Is it possible the tackle injury jinx is repeating itself again for the Bears?
The fact second-round tackle Teven Jenkins hasn't been able to practice this training camp due to a back injury is scary, although coach Matt Nagy seems to think it's heading toward a positive conclusion.
"I would say it's trending in the right direction, which is good," Nagy said.
However, he said it is a matter which could take somewhere between days and weeks to resolve.
"All's I can say is I feel like the arrow is—every day—it's getting a little bit better," Nagy said. "It's not going the other way. So we've just gotta be smart. And when it is time, (trainer Andre Tucker is) gonna come to me and say,
'Hey, he's practicing today, or, 'He's going out and he's doing individual, and then he's gonna do 5-10 reps here,' and we'll slowly get him in. And then we've gotta see how he's feeling. The sooner the better for sure. I just can't predict injuries."
Maybe it might be weeks and not days.
Brad Biggs of the Tribune reported Wednesday that a league source said Jenkins actually had a lumbar strain last year at Oklahoma State when he missed the final three games of the season. Biggs' report also said Jenkins had a couple of concussions in college, but that hasn't been the problem so far in Chicago. The back has.
Considering teams have the build-up to the draft, there's no reason for players to get into the NFL without teams knowing enough about their past injuries beyond carelessness.
In February there was no NFL combine, but they did have the medical version of the combine, which is when all the X-rays and medical tests are examined. So the pandemic didn't affect this aspect of the predraft process.
Without Jenkins so far, the Bears have used Elijah Wilkinson at left tackle and now rookie right tackle Larry Borom. Wilkinson went on the reserve COVID-19 list on Tuesday so someone must play left tackle.
"When you have a position at left tackle, which for us is a focus to make sure we get it right, we got to see the guys out there," Nagy said Tuesday. "If Teven isn't out there, that doesn't do anything for us.
"So that's probably when we would have to go to that next step, which Ryan (Pace) will always do with his guys."
Pace and "his guys" are looking through available free agents. No doubt they'll be looking through players available when teams make roster cuts, but that's not until the beginning of September.
Russell Okung is still available and Pro Football Talk reported in mid-July he was waiting for the right offer. Last year the 32-year-old Okung played for $13.5 million.
The Bears are very short on available salary cap money, with about $6 million available.
Former Ravens, Lions and Packers tackle Ricky Wagner is still unsigned, as well. Wagner has been a starter almost all his career, but was a swing tackle for the Packers last year. Most of the remaining tackles available were backups.
The Bears did have a left tackle who started 93 straight games. That was Charles Leno Jr.
They released him in May with a post-June 1 designation.
Bears Tackles Drafted Since Jimbo Covert
1984 Tom Andrews 4th Round. Result: 3 years, 2 with Bears, 2 Bears starts
1985 Steve Buxton 8th Round. Result: Did not make team
1986 Paul Blair 4th Round. Result: 3 years, 2 with Bears, 2 Bears starts
1987 Archie Harris 7th Round. Result: Didn't make team, 3 games with Denver
1988 Caesar Rentie 7th Round. Result: 5 games with Bears, no starts
1989 Steve Dyko 8th Round. Result: Did not make team
1990 Roman Matusz 11th Round. Result: Did not make team
1991 Stan Thomas 1st Round. Result: 4 years, 2 with Bears, 26 Bears starts
1992 Troy Auzenne 1st Round. Result: 5 years, 4 with Bears, 30 Bears starts
1992 Louis Age 11th Round. Result: 6 games with Bears, no starts
1994 Marcus Spears 2nd Round. Result: 9 games with Bears, no starts, 9 years in NFL
1996 Jon Clark 6th Round. Result: Result: 2 years with Bears, 2 games; 4 NFL years
1998 Chad Overhauser 7th Round. Result: Did not make team; 1 NFL year
1999 Jerry Wisne 5th Round. Result: 1 year with Bears, 7 games, 1 start; 2 NFL years.
2001 Mike Gandy 3rd Round. Result: 3 years with Bears, 30 starts; 8 NFL years, 106 starts
2002 Marc Colombo 1st Round. Result: 2+ years with Bears, 7 starts; 9 NFL years, 95 starts
2008 Chris Williams 1st Round. Result: 4+ years with Bears, 38 starts; 7 NFL years, 57 starts
2008 Bernard Robertson 5th Round. Result: 1 year with Bears, 5 starts
2008 Kirk Barton 7th Round. Result: 1 game with Bears, no starts
2010 J'Marcus Webb 7th Round. Result: 3 years with Bears, 46 starts; 10 NFL years, 73 starts
2011 Gabe Carimi 1st Round. Result: 2 years with Bears, 16 starts; 4 NFL years, 26 starts
2013 Jordan Mills 5th Round. Result: 2 Bears years, 29 starts; 7 NFL years, 84 starts
2014 Charles Leno Jr. 7th Round. Result: 7 Bears years, 94 starts, 1 Pro Bowl
2015 Tayo Fabuluje 6th Round. Result: 4 Bears games.
2020 Arlington Hambright, 7th Round. Result: 1 Bears game at guard
2020 Lachavious Simmons 7th Round. Result: Has not played
2021 Teven Jenkins 2nd Round, Larry Borom 5th Round.