By Chris Emma–
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — The Bears drafted receiver Kevin White with the seventh pick of the 2015 draft expecting they had added a dynamic player who alters their offense.
General manager Ryan Pace envisioned White’s 6-foot-3 frame and 4.35 speed changing a game. The Bears believed in what he could be. But that’s in question after two surgeries to the same left leg have caused White to miss 28 games in the past two seasons.
“No, no doubt at all,” White said of his return. “Just got to get my body right. Once I do that, I’ll do what I’m allowed to do. No doubts. I’m actually excited. A lot of pressure. A lot of doubts that everybody else has, but I’ll work it out.”
White isn’t running yet after suffering a fractured left fibula and a high ankle sprain. That injury came in early October, just four games into a career that was delayed because a stress fracture that cost him his entire rookie season.
What White can become remains in question. Doubt is only natural after two severe injuries to his left leg. White understands it.
“It motivates me,” White said. “All I can do is what I can do. Try to eat healthy, do everything I can, work my butt off and whatever happens, happens.”
White, 24, had six catches for 55 yards in that Week 4 contest with the Lions before suffering the injury. His frustration was clear, with the pain making it evident he would miss some significant time. Initially, the injury was believed to be just a sprain. However, it was later revealed that his fibula was also fractured.
“It’s frustrating,” White said. “Didn’t think I would be out this year, obviously. Did everything I could in the offseason. Stayed here, trained, worked my butt off, did everything I thought I could. It’s just unfortunate, but it’s the name of the game. Just got to fight back and stay patient and mentally stay tough.
“Once I knew it would be over for the season, that was really hard. But you bounce back, mentally try to stay strong, have family and coaches and teammates support you.”
White has been told the injury isn’t chronic and won’t have lasting effects. He expects to be back in form come the offseason workout program.
Patience has been a virtue for White during these lost first two seasons of his career, but he’s ready for the next return.
“Everything takes time,” he said. “Rome wasn’t built in a day, so it’ll happen.”