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.