By Chris Emma–

CHICAGO (CBS) — Among the few positives in the Bears’ ugly 22-0 loss to the Broncos to open the preseason on Thursday, perhaps none was more important than seeing No. 13 break the huddle.

At 591 days removed from his last game action, receiver Kevin White stepped onto Soldier Field and made his NFL debut. The seventh overall pick of 2015, White had finally arrived in the NFL.

“It felt good to be back with the team, dancing around, having fun with my teammates,” White said after the game.

On the second play for the Bears’ offense, White caught a screen pass and managed to find three yards. That was his only impact on a tough game for his team, but it’s a start.

White missed his entire rookie season with a shin injury that required surgery less than a year ago. He tried to return later in the 2015 season but was shut down by the team.

Taking the field in Bourbonnais for the first time during training camp was a positive step for White. The next was getting to Soldier Field against an opponent.

There was a loud cheer when White’s name was announced for the catch. Fans were thrilled to see the promising player on the field.

“It was cool,” White said. “Not a big deal.”

Bears quarterback Jay Cutler viewed White’s presence differently. The 6-foot-3 White brings a combination of size and speed that can make a difference in the offense. When White is lined up opposite Alshon Jeffery, there’s potential for the offense.

Perhaps nobody was more excited to hear White’s name called than Cutler. It happened only once, but will be the first of many occasions.

“He’s an explosive guy,” Cutler said of White. “He’s a physical specimen.”

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670 and like his Facebook page.