Wide receiver Kevin White, the seventh overall pick in the 2014 draft, is undergoing surgery soon for a stress fracture in his left shin.
So now what?
The Sun-Times’ Bears reporters weigh in:
ADAM L. JAHNS
Bears general manager Ryan Pace can scour the waiver wire, the trade market and anything he wants. Any receiver he adds won’t be the same as Kevin White.
And Pace knows it.
White is a significant loss. The Bears believed they could work through his limited route running at West Virginia and had the rookie pegged as a Day 1 contributor.
Why else would they have taken White at No. 7 overall?
So, what’s next?
There isn’t a next. It’s on offensive coordinator Adam Gase to develop ways to succeed with what he has left on offense and to disregard any plans he had for White.
Receiver was once a strong position for Gase and the Bears, and now it’s not. The Bears better pray that Alshon Jeffery’s calf strain remains mild like they say.
White promised to do everything he can to return later this season, and the Bears should allow for it, if he’s medically cleared. The Bears may be out of contention at that point, but it doesn’t matter.Any playing time White gets this season will be better for the Bears in 2016 when expectations should be higher for them.
It could have been worse — not only the injury, but the timing. With the Bears’ defense looking like it’ll be a work-in-progress for much of the season, it’s unlikely the loss or rookie wide receiver Kevin White will be the difference between the Bears making the playoffs and not making the playoffs.
On the contrary, if anything, it might mean the difference between drafting in the middle of the first round of the draft and the top 10 (and with the Cubs on a roll and the Blackhawks defending another Cup, stockpiling top draft picks is not a bad way to go in a rebuild).
With Eddie Royal, Alshon Jeffery — if he’s healthy —Martellus Bennett and Marquess Wilson, Jay Cutler has more than enough to win with.
Still, White’s injury leaves them without a receiver to take the top off the defense —something they’ve been missing since Johnny Knox suffered a career-ending injury in 2011. Good ol’ Johnny Knox —a reminder that indeed it could always be worse.
Teams sell either results or hope.
The Bears had a better chance peddling the latter this season. As they likely slogged to a middle-of-the-pack finish — at best —Kevin White would be the face of the future. He’d be something fans could dream on.
Instead, the rookie receiver has a date soon with a tibia-strengthening surgical rod. And the seventh-worst team in football last year will likely play the whole season without their top draft pick. A fan base tilting toward apathy tipped even furtherSaturday.
Once White spent the first two weeks of training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list, it was doubtful he’d contribute meaningfully early in the season. From a practical standpoint, the Bears are equipped to deal his departure; Alshon Jeffery is playing for a new contract, Eddie Royal is the star of training camp and Marquess Wilson looks as good as he did before breaking a clavicle a year ago.
The Bears have zero reason to rush White back. Fans longing for hope will probably think otherwise.