The injury news for the 2016 Bears got exponentially worse when it was announced Wednesday that wide receiver Kevin White, the team leader with 19 receptions this season after missing all of last year with a stress fracture, will be placed on injured reserve with a broken left fibula that resulted from a hit on his leg that caused a high-ankle sprain.
Wide receiver is a spot with some depth, and Cameron Meredith weighed in with four catches against the Detroit Lions, three after White was forced out.
“Cam got playing time for us last year,” Bears head coach John Fox said. “I was impressed with him. I think he has continued to grow this year. With some of the guys back — Eddie Royal, Alshon and Kevin — I think it has been diminished a little bit. But we leaned on him a little bit [Sunday] when Kevin got hurt.
“He’s tall. He’s long. He’s got good catch radius. He does have good speed. I think you see his arm length. I think he went up and snatched one over the middle yesterday. He’s got good hands. So he’s a young guy that’s going to get better.”
The Bears also appeared to tilt their offense toward rushing the football with the return of fullback Paul Lasike to the active roster and the addition of tight end Rory “Busta” Anderson to the practice squad.
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White could return this season and the team said surgery was an option. The injury occurred in the third quarter of Sunday’s win over the Lions in which White caught six passes for 55 yards, the last for a five-yard gain before he was tackled and his leg twisted awkwardly on the takedown. White limped to the sideline and received medical attention.
The team has the option of bringing one player back from injured reserve in a season, which could be White or could be cornerback Kyle Fuller, out after knee surgery Aug. 15. But the limit is one, meaning that either Fuller or White is done for 2016.
The injury was to White’s same leg (left) that sustained the stress fracture in 2015, which subsequently had surgery to install a rod for strength, but the injuries were unrelated, the team said.
The summer days of the offseason are prime ranking season, and the Bears official website is entering the mix as part of the team’s 100th season celebration.
Hall of Fame writers Dan Pompei and Don Pierson ranked the top 100 players in franchise history for their upcoming centennial scrapbook, and Monday the team released the first 25 names on the list.
The biggest standout was quarterback Jay Cutler, who ranked 85th.
Plenty of Hall of Famers should rank above the Bears’ all-time leading passer, but 84 is quite a few.
It’s hard to compare a modern quarterback to players from previous decades, like 82nd-ranked George Blanda, but Cutler even came in behind the likes of wide receivers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, neither of whom spent more than five years in Chicago.
Third-year safety Eddie Jackson also made an appearance at 96 on the list, and beloved former long snapper Patrick Mannelly started off the list at 100.
A lot has changed since the NFL released the 2019 schedule. Teams have added through the draft and free agency, and learned more about their rosters with rookie minicamps. Now with all that behind us, let’s take another look at which opposing rookies could make an impact in 2019. We’ll go over the first five opponents on Wednesday, the next four on Thursday and the last four on Friday.
Week 11 at Rams
If LA doesn’t re-sign Ndamukong Suh they’ll have a major vacancy on their defensive line: enter fourth-rounder Greg Gaines. The Rams traded back into the fourth round to snag Gaines, so clearly they think highly of the first team All-Pac-12 DL who had 56 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season at Washington.
Week 12 vs. Giants
The Giants made the biggest splash of the draft by selecting Daniel Jones No. 6 overall. Reactions to the picks in the media and on social media were very similar to when the Bears traded up to pick Mitchell Trubisky No. 2 overall in 2017, and Trubisky has already publicly given Jones advice for how to deal with the negative attention. Will Jones follow in Trubisky’s footsteps and have replaced Eli Manning under center by the time the Giants visit Chicago?
Week 13 at Lions
See Thursday’s preview of Bears’ opponents.
Week 14 vs. Cowboys
Fourth-round pick Tony Pollard is the lesser-heralded running back from Memphis rather than Darrell Henderson, but he can run and catch. Over his last two seasons, he put up 782 rushing yards, 994 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns. He also adds much needed depth to the Dallas running back room, as the leading rusher behind Ezekiel Elliott last season was Dak Prescott with 75 attempts for 305 yards. After that, it was Rod Smith with 44 attempts for 127 yards.
Week 15 at Packers
See Wednesday’s preview of Bears’ opponents.
Week 16 vs. Chiefs
If Tyreek Hill doesn’t play this year due to domestic violence allegations, second-round pick Mecole Hardman could get a lot of snaps at WR in his stead. Hardman can blow by defenders, like Hill, and ran a 4.33 40-yard dash at the combine. That number was good for fifth-best among all participants this year. On the field for Georgia, he caught 35 balls for 543 yards and seven touchdowns. He added a punt return touchdown, as well.
Week 17 at Vikings
See Wednesday’s preview of Bears’ opponents.