For the Chicago Bears’ Kevin White, things have not begun in a picture perfect manner. The rookie wide receiver’s introduction to the NFL has become a delayed process. Hobbled by a nagging shin injury, White was placed on the physically unable to perform (P.U.P.) list at the start of the Bears’ training camp.
Apparently, the injury occurred during offseason workouts and thus far they have slowed his growth. After so much promise, including a favorable rating of 78 in the annual John Madden Football game, Kevin White saw the beginning of his NFL action on the sidelines.
Everyone projects White to be one of the top players of the 2015 rookie class. For West Virginia, he was a big time playmaker and every team needs a few playmakers. The expectations are high with the Chicago Bears who have a void at the receiver position. Last season, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery took turns catching passes from quarterback Jay Cutler. Both players are Pro Bowl quality players. Marshall was jettisoned to New York leaving a spot open in the starting lineup.
Kevin White was expected to challenge for the spot on the other side of the field, opposite Jeffery. The shin injury has slowed him down, perhaps leaving the threat of him starting the regular season on the P.U.P. list. The Bears need White now, but is the minor setback a sign of a total delay in White’s progress?
Wide receiver is the hardest position to master in professional football. The learning curve is earnestly a three-year process. So whatever time on the football Kevin White can get, the better he can become. Injuries, lackluster play, lack of playing time could all saddle any momentum White hopes to build.
It will be a welcomed sight when Kevin White finally takes the practice field this week. He will begin running and perhaps participate in a few workouts, according to Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune. That is the bare necessities as of now. He must build his football stamina up.
With Kevin White scheduled to begin practicing with the Chicago Bears this week, do not expect him on the field for the team’s first preseason game Thursday against the Miami Dolphins. If White does play at all in the pre-season, it may not come until the third game at the earliest.
The lack of practice time and in-game action may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Bears. He will be a fresh body with a better grasp on the playbook.
While Kevin White has not worked out with the Bears in training camp, he has done plenty of work in the classroom. One of the reasons why wide receivers struggle when they first come into the NFL is that there is so much to learn regarding route-running, blocking schemes, and basic chemistry with the quarterback. White’s time in the classroom will give him a better understanding of where to be when he does take the field.
Kevin White not being able to practice with the Chicago Bears is not the end of the world. He will hit the field when he is ready. In fact, Kevin White might end up better prepared by not practicing.
[Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images]