Kevin White Still Has “A Ways to Go” to Return
Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
If you were hoping that Chicago Bears first round draft pick Kevin White would come off the PUP list and jump right back into action, think again. White is eligible to start practicing with the team, at which point the Bears would have three weeks to decide what to do with him. From the interview he did with the Chicago Tribune’s Dan Wiederer, it doesn’t sound like you can expect to see White lining up opposite Alshon Jeffery any time soon.
"“Compared to when I was 100 percent healthy? I’ve got a ways to go. I’ve got a ways to go. I’m not doing a lot (right now). I did some jogging last week. This week a little bit more. So it’s just progressing each week. I’m not in a rush. But it’s not a ‘Take your time Kevin’ thing either. I want to get back. I think everybody wants me back. I want to be back.”"
The Bears selected White seventh overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, Ryan Pace’s first pick as Bears GM. White was expected to bring a rare size-speed combination to the field to help provide the Bears offense a new weapon. He looked great in rookie minicamp, but suffered an injury that turned out to be a stress fracture that required surgery to correct. A rod was inserted in his leg to stabilize the tibia on August 23rd.
The PUP (Physically Unable to Perform) list dictates that White had to miss the first six weeks of the season. Now that that’s passed, there’s a five week window in which White can begin practicing. Once he starts practicing with the team, the Bears have 21 days to decide whether to activate him or shut him down for the 2015 season. From the tone of the interview, I’m ready to look ahead to 2016, but White isn’t shifting gears just yet:
"“Not quite yet. If I can get on the field this year and make a run for it and we can make a run for it, I would like to help my teammates and this organization out. That’s playing. If it’s not this year, I’ll try my best and do what I can for next year. But I’m not closing any doors. I’m not saying that I’m not coming back this year. There’s a chance. So I’ll do my best to try to make the comeback.”"
Consider White is only jogging on a treadmill that supports half his body weight, I’d say there’s not much chance he’ll be suiting up in 2015. And honestly, what’s the rush? This season certainly looks like a rebuilding year, so hopefully White can heal up and be ready to hit the ground running in 2016.