Hours after it was reported that running back Matt Forte is on track to play Thursday against the Packers, more good news came from Halas Hall Tuesday.
The Bears have decided not to place rookie receiver Kevin White on injured reserve but instead will begin his 21-day practice window.
I can confirm the #Bears are opening 3-week practice window for rookie Kevin White today. Expectation is that he will stretch, work on side— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) November 24, 2015
The Bears have until 3 p.m. to make their decision official.
The No. 7-overall pick in April’s draft, White is currently on the physically-unable-to-perform list while he recovers from surgery to repair a stress fracture in his left tibia. The West Virginia product has yet to appear in a game for the Bears (preseason included) after suffering the injury in June.
If the Bears had decided that White was still unable to perform, they could have moved him to injured reserve, thus ending his season. Instead, they’ll begin his 21-day practice window, at the conclusion of which they must either place White on the active roster or move him to IR.
The decision comes as good news because it means White will finally be able to begin to adapt to the NFL culture and routine. What it doesn’t necessarily mean is that he’ll see the field this season.
Again, from what I understand, there is no guarantee that White will practice in full yet. Games, as we have said all along, are a longshot— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) November 24, 2015
#Bears would like to get Kevin White in the routine of practicing at the pro level. That is the net benefit of starting the window.— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) November 24, 2015
Last month, the Bears told the Sun-Times they had no issue ending White’s season if it’s determined to be best for him in the long term.
His skill set, of course, would be a welcomed addition for quarterback Jay Cutler, who has been forced to play significant portions of the season without top weapons Alshon Jeffery and Forte.
White caught 109 balls for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns in his final season at West Virginia.