Bears WR Kevin White nearly becomes hero with Hail Mary catch vs. Patriots

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Bears WR Kevin White nearly scored on a Hail Mary against the Patriots. | David Banks/Associated Press

It was the best catch of Kevin White’s career, and the maligned Bears receiver tried to give it to teammate Taylor Gabriel in a wild flurry.

“There was just nowhere I could go to pitch it,” White said.

It was all part of White’s desperate attempt to score as time expired in the Bears’ 38-31 loss against the Patriots on Sunday at Soldier Field.

White caught the 54-yard Hail Mary from quarterback Mitch Trubisky at the Patriots’ 2-yard line and turned to the 1, only to be met by four Patriots defenders.

Did White think he had a chance to score?

“For a second I did, until I felt a bunch of guys, then I kind of knew it was over,” White said. “But I just tried to stretch the ball, and I actually tried to hand it to [Gabriel], but there was no time left.”

It was the longest catch in White’s injury-plagued career. It also was his second catch in the fourth quarter after not getting targeted once by Trubisky in the first five games.

“It definitely felt good [to get involved],” said White, who also was thrown a jump ball on the goal line in the second quarter. “It was a long time coming, but I just have to stay ready.”

But after being used primarily as a blocker this season, making a leaping 54-yard reception still felt “real good,” White said.

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Finding playing time has been difficult for White, the Bears’ 2015 first-round pick, especially after the arrivals of Gabriel, Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller. But special-teams player Josh Bellamy also has had more opportunities than White this season on offense, including four more targets Sunday.

“[The catch] kind of quiets the noise and shows everyone that I’m the same guy, even better; that I can make the big-time plays,” White said. “I just got to stay focused and control what I can control.”

On Sunday, that was going up and grabbing a Hail Mary from Trubisky, who got his long pass off despite pressure.

“I just tried to fight and get in, tried to change the game, make a big-time play,” White said. “If I had a Kyle Long or one of the linemen to push me in, it would have been a different game.”

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