Chicago Bears’ wide receiver Kevin White left the game in the fourth quarter due to injury against the Atlanta Falcons. It is the Bears’ fear that White may miss a considerable amount of time. If so, an already thin Chicago Bears’ receiving group becomes worse.
Kevin White was mysteriously absent when the Chicago Bears came out of the tunnel in the closing minutes of the game versus the Atlanta Falcons. Once it was noticed that Kevin White did not join his Bears’ teammates, speculation ensued. Kevin White was injured after being tackled on a pass. No one knew how bad the Bears’ receiver was hurt.
According to ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson, the Chicago Bears are fearful that Kevin White suffered a broken collarbone on the play. If that is the case, Kevin White’s third season with the Chicago Bears will finish just as his first two have — the wide receiver landing on the injured reserve list.
An NFL.com report has all but confirmed that Kevin White will be shut down for the remainder of the year.
Kevin White has only appeared in five regular season games since he was taken seventh overall by the Chicago Bears in the 2015 draft. Including his two catches versus the Atlanta Falcons, White only has 21 grabs for a meager 193 yards. His injury, if it is a broken collarbone, comes at a bad time for both he and the Bears.
This was hopefully the season where Kevin White would establish himself as a solid receiver with the Chicago Bears. The Bears needed Kevin White to step up in wake of fellow receiver Cameron Meredith’s anterior cruciate ligament tear. Meredith, the Bears’ top pass-catcher, was lost for the season during the third preseason game (courtesy of the Washington Post).
Having both Kevin White and Cameron Meredith on the field for the Bears could have made a difference against the Falcons. The Bears lost to the Falcons 23-17 (courtesy of NFL.com), but had an opportunity to tie the football game in the closing seconds. A sure-handed Cameron Meredith or Kevin White’s speed would have given the Chicago Bears passing options late.
Without Kevin White and Cameron Meredith, the Bears will have to look elsewhere for a receiving threat. As it was noticed against the Falcons, if the Bears had a vertical passing game, they could force opponents to alter their defensive strategy. It is now up to a wide receiver group consisting of Kendall Wright, Josh Bellamy, Markus Wheaton, and Deonte Thompson to rise to the occasion.
Kevin White’s injury could lead to the Chicago Bears seeking a receiver in a trade. Before the Bears explore the trade market, they will likely look to add undrafted rookie Tanner Gentry from the practice squad.
Tanner Gentry had a strong showing for the Chicago Bears during training camp and the preseason. Many thought that his play had landed him a spot on the Bears’ initial 53-man roster.
According to the Chicago Tribune’s Rich Campbell, Gentry showcased polished route-running and the ability to play all three receiver roles. While it was not enough for Tanner Gentry to begin the season on the Bears’ roster, he did sign with the Bears’ practice squad, according to ESPN.
With the Chicago Bears losing Kevin White to a broken collarbone, it now opens the door for Tanner Gentry to join the roster.
Bringing back receiver Marquess Wilson could be another option the Chicago Bears may consider before exploring a trade. Wilson, a former Bears’ player, was released (courtesy of Yahoo Sports) by the New York Jets during their final cuts. Wilson has not managed to stay healthy. However, his familiarity with the Bears’ offense makes him worth kicking the tires on.
[Featured Image by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images]