BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — Rookie wide receiver Kevin White, coming back from a shin injury that has landed him on the physically unable to perform list from the outset of training camp, got in his first outdoor running in nearly two weeks on Monday. But the Bears continue to tap the brakes with the young wideout and may hold him out of preseason games entirely.
If White is on the PUP list as of final cuts, he would be unavailable to practice or play for the first six weeks of the season. There was little indication of that prognosis on Monday.
“Sure, we’d love to have him play in a preseason game,” said receivers coach Mike Groh. “Obviously, the more he can get out here with Jay [Cutler] and the rest of the offense, the better. But that’s probably not going to be the case.”
A reasonable assumption is that White, the No. 7 pick of the draft in April, will not be a starter by the time the Bears face the Green Bay Packers on Sept. 13. But the Bears are looking beyond one game.
“We’ve got a plan for him,” said coach John Fox. “And he’s making progress. He’s been running but it’s been in water and some various types of exercises where you don’t take pounding on the legs. From what I’ve gathered so far, he had a good day today.”
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Word is that White has consistently been active in meetings and sought out coaches for advice already. He has worked on techniques with the likes of veteran Eddie Royal and caught passes from just about anyone who would throw with him.
“He’s done everything that we’ve asked him to do and more,” Groh said. “He’s certainly made sacrifices in his personal time to get out in front of the playbook and understand everything that we’re trying to do and everything that we’re installing. So I’m very proud of him for what he’s done off the field. And then when we get him on the field, we’ll see what he can do physically.”