With the return of Nate Davis, more position changes are coming for the offensive line
Wednesday morning Matt Eberflus announced that Nate Davis is returning from injury.
Davis will start at right guard on Sunday. This means Teven Jenkins will move back to left guard. Eberflus also stated that Cody Whitehair will not be starting on Sunday, he will be on the bench.
You can see Matt Eberflus’ full press conference below. The O-line discussion is at the beginning.
Coach Eberflus is speaking with the press https://t.co/I3zq2WFFDq
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 15, 2023
How Nate Davis’ return affects the whole O-line
On one hand, Nate Davis’ return is great news. Before his injury, he was considered one of the best guards in the NFL. Davis showed major improvement in 2022, especially in technical areas he previously struggled with. That improvement is one of the reasons why Ryan Poles decided to sign him. When he was with Tennessee, Davis played more than 90% of snaps every season. He has been regularly available most of his career.
On the other hand, Teven Jenkins is moving back to left guard. Jenkins has been dominant at right guard since Davis was injured in week 6. The duo he formed with Darnell Wright on the right side of the O-line was great. Wright and Jenkins turned into a brick wall, shutting down top pass rushers and opening big holes for the run game.
Teven Jenkins has played right tackle the most in his life. That is the position he played in college, and the position he said he is comfortable in.
However, Jenkins should be able to find his footing at left tackle, he has some experience at the position. As long as the Bears O-line can find some consistency this move should work. Constantly changing positions does not put any player in a position to succeed at the highest level.
Cody Whitehair being benched is also good for the Bears offensive line. It is no stretch to say that Whitehair has struggled heavily this season. His issues were made very obvious when he was seen blocking his own teammate. And His many errant snaps vs the Vikings are another clear indicator he isn’t starting caliber anymore. Whitehair simply is not the same player he once was.
Adding Nate Davis back to the lineup provides another big, strong and smart player that can help spread the workload on the offensive line. If Jenkins can lock in at left guard, most of the line will be solid. Unlike the last few games. In which the right side was very strong, and the left was weak, leaving Tyson Bagent’s blind side pretty exposed.
Outlook for Lions vs Bears in week 11
The news on the O-line starting 5 is the best news Justin Fields could receive. The coaching staff is giving Fields a chance to ease back into the game.
While it is unknown how Teven Jenkins will perform at left guard, the Bears are putting their best players out there. Eberflus has decided to finally put the Bears 5 best linemen out on the field. Justin Fields will have the best chance at a solid return that he possibly could.
The timing could not be better. The Lions have a brutal pass rush that isn’t reliant one on specific player. Aidan Hutchinson is a beast on the edge, no doubt about that. But the Lions rush by committee, which is much more dangerous. The Lions can pressure the QB with a number of players that they can rotate on and off the field. This way they always stay fresh and ready. The Bears have a tall task ahead of them.
The Bears O-line will really have to step up big time and help protect Justin Fields. If that can happen, the Bears have a chance to win.
The Bears are coming out of their mini-bye as healthy as they have been all season and are hopeful that will lead to a strong finish to what has been a disappointing season to this point.
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