The Chicago Bears opted to trade Brandon Marshall to the New York Jets in favor of getting younger on offense. With Alshon Jeffery assuming the No.1 receiver role, the Bears then went and drafted Kevin White out of West Virginia to be their next-best threat in the endzone. Expectations were high for White and the rookie has yet to meet them as his shin injury takes a turn for the worse.
White has yet to really be seen on the field thanks to a shin injury keeping him out of practice. The Bears had been remaining optimistic about his return to the field, but Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com is now reporting that White will undergo surgery for a stress fracture in his shin and will likely be out for at least the first six games. This is not the turn most fans saw this story taking since the Bears stated the wide receiver would begin running this week. General manager Ryan Pace is trying to stay hopeful as White stressed his desire to try and play some this season.
"If I can come back and am able to play a little bit in the season, we'll do it, if I'm feeling OK," White said, via ESPN.com. "But just following through. If they want me out there, then I'll try my best to get out there. I want to come back as soon as possible. If it's this season, then great. If it's next season then I'll just have to wait. I just got pain in that spot again. I'm not ignorant about the situation. I knew it would probably lead up to surgery so I've just got to accept it and roll with the punches."
This is not what Chicago wants as Jay Cutler enters a make-or-break season with the Bears. Jeffery remains out with a mild calf strain. According to Pace, he expects the receiver to be healthy at the start of the season. Now the pressure is on for the remaining players to step up. With White out, Eddie Royal moves into the No.2 spot and could be a fantasy star at the beginning of the year. Royal has already been making positive noise for the Bears and now he will assume a bigger role than before. Marquess Wilson is expected to see a big push in production as well. Martellus Bennett will need another big season.
The Bears have questionable depth at the wide receiver spot outside of Royal and Wilson. The team could end up taking a look at the free agent market which currently including Reggie Wayne and Wes Welker. With the first wave of NFL roster cuts expected to happen on September 1. The Bears could hold out and wait to see who else gets let go and could come on for help.