Rookie receiver Kevin White rejoins Bears individual drills

Wednesday proved to be something of a milestone day for Chicago Bears rookie Kevin White. When practice opened inside the Walter Payton Center in Lake Forest, the 23-year-old receiver was finally back in the mix of individual drills, running routes, making cuts and catching passes. 

It’s been three and a half months since White underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left leg. And while he remains planted on the physically-unable-to-perform list, Wednesday marked the first time White joined individual drills. 

The Bears have until Dec. 15 to make their next move with White, either activating him to the 53-man roster or placing him on season-ending injured reserve. And, yes, White can hear that ticking clock. 

“I’m very aware,” he said. “I know exactly when (that decision is needed). That’s why I’m pushing myself a little bit and still being smart with it.” 

The Bears have been clear from the get-go that they plan to take a cautious approach with White, which still means he may ultimately be put on the shelf until 2016. But the team is also not going to rush that decision ahead of the league-mandated deadline to do so. 

After Wednesday’s practice, coach John Fox said White is improving in his recovery and is “on target.” When asked to elaborate on what that meant, Fox quipped: “On target to practice again tomorrow.” White said he’s feeling as agile and healthy now as he has since June. He admitted he’s still experiencing some weakness and discomfort in his left leg and is aware he has a few more hurdles to clear in his recovery. 

“It’s just getting it stronger,” he said. “Get it as equal (strength-wise) as my right leg. And then after that, it’s just about being comfortable running the routes again.” 

That said, White has made it clear to both head Fox and general manager Ryan Pace that he would like to see action this season if at all possible. 

“Yeah, I’m pushing to play,” White said. “Shoot, if I wasn’t pushing to play, I wouldn’t be out there. … If it wasn’t important (to get back out there), I would be in the treatment room and I would have just told Pace or Fox to IR me. But I want to play. I want to help the team out.”

No photo