Home Sports 3 things we heard from the Chicago Bears, including Teven Jenkins’ return from a neck injury and Cole Kmet winning the Jeff Dickerson Good Guy Award

3 things we heard from the Chicago Bears, including Teven Jenkins’ return from a neck injury and Cole Kmet winning the Jeff Dickerson Good Guy Award

by staff

The Chicago Bears practiced Wednesday at Halas Hall to prepare for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

Here are three things we learned from coach Matt Eberflus and Bears players.

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Eleven days after suffering a scary neck injury against the Philadelphia Eagles, Jenkins practiced in full and said he expects to be back on the field against the Lions.

Jenkins was immobilized on a stretcher and taken to a hospital after Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat hit him in what Jenkins called a “vulnerable” spot on his neck, pushing it back and up, while Jenkins was run blocking.

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“It hit in that sweet spot,” Jenkins said in his first comments to reporters since the injury. “As soon as that happened, a big shock of pain happened. It was just like a lot of pain and a lot of nerves as well. It was stretching the nerves.”

Jenkins said he knew by about 4 p.m. that day that he would be OK. After getting scans, doctors allowed him to switch to a softer collar and test his neck mobility.

He said the injury, which he described as a strain and a stinger, was “very” scary but won’t change how he approaches the game.

“This is part of my job,” he said. “I love football, and that’s just part of it. I’m not going to change my play style at all.

“If that comes down the road in five years, I’ll do the same thing. I’m not scared of it at all. This is who I am and this is what it’s going to be.”

Bears tight end Cole Kmet heads off the field after a 31-10 loss to the Jets on Nov. 27, 2022, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

The Chicago chapter of the Pro Football Writers of America presents the award annually to a Bears player, coach or staff member who is professional, honest and engaged while helping reporters do their jobs.

In his third season, Kmet received the award after often speaking with reporters multiple times a week throughout the season. It was his first season working with reporters during open locker-room access, which was shut down the previous two years because of COVID-19.

Kmet said that while a 3-12 season can be frustrating, he views speaking with reporters as a “responsibility to be there and be present for you guys and be engaged.” He called it “pretty crazy” to be a part of the Bears media landscape after growing up in the area.

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“It’s weird because you go from kind of naturally consuming it all the time to having really to shut it out for the most part,” Kmet said. “Not that I don’t want to hear what you guys say, but I don’t think that’s a healthy thing for me.”

Kmet was asked if his sports-focused family ever offers advice on how to handle his media responsibilities.

“Most of the advice my dad gives me is probably not great, so I really don’t listen too much to it,” Kmet joked. “No, I’m just kidding. They’ll give their input. My grandmother will always comment when she sees this on YouTube, and she goes, ‘I love how you said this,’ or, ‘I love how you said that.’ But they’re good about it, and they always offer great advice.”

Bears reporters presented the award to Kmet on the one-year anniversary of Dickerson’s death.

Dickerson was an ESPN reporter in Chicago for 20 years, a beloved member of the Bears beat reporting corps and a proud dad to son Parker. Dickerson died in 2021 at age 43 after a bout with colon cancer, nearly three years after his wife, Caitlin, died of melanoma at 36.

Dickerson’s parents, George and Sandy, were on hand to see Kmet receive the award, which was named in Dickerson’s honor last year.

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As a local, Kmet said he “definitely knew Jeff growing up.”

“My dad was obviously reading up on him all the time with ESPN, and then I got to know Jeff briefly here before he passed,” Kmet said. “Obviously a really special guy, big, avid fan of the Bears and a great reporter. To get an award in his name is really special.”

Recent winners include Robert Quinn and Tashuan Gipson in 2021, Mitch Trubisky in 2020, Allen Robinson in 2019, Prince Amukamara in 2018 and Zach Miller in 2017.

Fields said the foot was bleeding and swollen for a couple of days but it’s fine now. He also aggravated his separated left shoulder against the Buffalo Bills. He said the shoulder usually doesn’t cause him pain during games but he tweaked it Saturday.

“Throwing-wise, I felt fine after the incident happened,” Fields said. “The biggest thing with it is just sprinting full speed and being able to use that arm to produce more power with running. But other than that, it’s been fine.”

Fields was not on the injury report Wednesday. Wide receivers Chase Claypool (knee) and Equanimeous St. Brown (concussion) did not practice. Wide receiver Dante Pettis (ankle), left guard Cody Whitehair (knee), defensive linemen Justin Jones (eye) and Andrew Brown (ankle), linebacker Sterling Weatherford (illness) and tight end Trevon Wesco (calf) were limited.

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