Chicago Bears Open Kevin White’s Practice Window


Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears opened a practice window for rookie wide receiver Kevin White, who’s been on the PUP list since training camp opened.

The Chicago Bears faced a deadline at 3PM to open a 21-day practice window for rookie wide receiver Kevin White or end his 2015 season.  The Bears have 21 days to evaluate White during practice and decide to activate him to the 53-man roster or put him on season-ending IR.  White has been recovering from surgery to repair a stress fracture that he suffered some time between rookie minicamp and training camp.

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace stunned a lot of Bears fans when he announced that his first draft pick, the #7 selection overall, would open the season on the PUP list.  White was expected to start opposite Alshon Jeffery and fill the void left by the departed Brandon Marshall.  White was drafted to provide a rare combination of size and speed to ‘take the top off’ opposing defenses and give Jay Cutler a pair of dynamic playmakers on the outside.  Instead, White has been sidelined since July and Alshon Jeffery has missed significant time with nagging injuries.  The Bears offense has proven to be steady, but failed to achieve their full potential behind a (dare we say improved) Jay Cutler.

The 4-6 Bears will proceed with extreme caution with White.  With their playoff chances remote at best, the Bears will be well served to get White acclimated to their practice routine and give him some motivation after months of rehab work.  It would be nice if the Bears could get White on the field to see what the rookie is really capable of.  With Alshon Jeffery playing in the last year of his rookie contract, the Bears might need to know what they have coming up in the ranks to see what kind of leverage they have with Jeffery.

For my money, I would just as soon sit White at the end of the 21-day window.  There’s no reason to put the 2016 season in jeopardy while risking another major injury.  When White returns to the field next season, it will be as if the Bears will have two first round draft picks in 2016.  Assuming the Bears can work out a contract extension with Alshon Jeffery or they tag him, the Bears will have a couple of formidable weapons in the passing attack.

Here’s the Bears press release on opening Kevin White and also adding a couple of players to their practice squad:

"The Chicago Bears opened the practice window for WR Kevin White (currently on Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform list) and signed LB Danny Mason and QB Justin Worley to the practice squad.The team has three weeks to add White to the active roster or place him on the injured reserve list.Mason entered the NFL in January of this year with the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M – Commerce. Listed at 6-3, 235 pounds, Mason appeared in 37 games (30 starts) during his collegiate career totaling 272 tackles. During his junior and senior seasons the Louisville, Kentucky native recorded 170 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions and 10 passes break-ups. He also played for the Colorado Ice of the Indoor Football League in 2014.Worley is an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee. Listed at 6-4, 220 pounds during his collegiate career, Worley started 17-of-24 games played with the Vols, completing 329-of-558 passing for 3,556 yards, 23 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Starting 14-of-15 games during his junior and senior seasons, Worley was 266-of-338 passing for 2,818 yards, 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions."

There’s a lot going on in a short week as the Bears play the Packers to cap off your Thanksgiving night.

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