Bears’ Kevin White does light work, is long way away

SHARE Bears’ Kevin White does light work, is long way away
SHARE Bears’ Kevin White does light work, is long way away

BOURBONNAIS — Kevin White did light running, backpedaled and played catch on an Olivet Nazarene University back field Monday, his most public first step in returning from shin splints that have sidelined him two months.

That doesn’t make the rookie wide receiver close to a return, though.

“Sure, we’d love to have him play in a preseason game,” Bears receivers coach Mike Groh said. “Obviously, the more he can get out here with (quarterback) Jay (Cutler) and the rest of the offense, the better. But that’s probably not going to be the case.

“Just like we saw (Giants receiver) Odell Beckham do last year— he missed a lot of time early and I think he must have stayed engaged mentally.”

Beckham missed nearly his entire training camp and all four preseason games with a hamstring injury, but was eventually named Offensive Rookie of the Year.

“He’s at the bit, ready to go, and we’ve got to be smart enough to ease him back into it,” coach John Fox said. “He’s not played football in seven-and-a-half or eight weeks so it would be crazy for us just to throw him back out there.”

The No. 7 overall draft pick had been running underwater and doing drills that did not stress his shins, Fox said. He’s been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since the start of training camp.

“We’ve got a plan for him, and he’s making progres,” Fox said.

Groh praised White’s approach to the injury, saying that he began learning the Bears’ playbook on his first day of employment and was reading it in the locker room Saturday before the start of Family Fest.

“Mentally, I think Kevin’s doing an outstanding job,” Groh said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked (him) to, and more. Certainly, made sacrifices in his personal time to get out in front of the playbook and understand everything we’re trying to do and everything we’re installing.

“So I’m very proud of him for what he’s done off the field. Then we get him on the field, and we’re going to see what he can do out here physically.”

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