The Chicago Bears traded Brandon Marshall at the start of the 2015 offseason and then drafted Kevin White in the first round with the intentions that he would be the next franchise star. However, a shin injury knocked the rookie out after minicamp and he has since spent the whole season on the sidelines. However, that could change quickly as White makes his return to the field and potentially the active roster in the coming days.
White has returned to the practice field after being on the physically unable to perform list. The wide receiver has been participating in team drills after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in his shin. Now the question becomes whether or not White will actually see time on the field this season. According to Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com, head coach John Fox first needs to see if the receiver is in football shape.
"I think his leg is healed," Fox said, via ESPN.com. "Now it's a matter of getting into football shape. We'll evaluate that deal. We have medical people that deal with him every day. And we'll continue to bring the football play element back into it. If he's cleared to play football, he'll be out there. If not, he won't."
According to Fox there is a deadline for White. Technically, the wide receiver must prove he is healthy by Dec. 15 in order to get activated to the roster. Because of that Fox says White is being evaluated every day, but the team is not ready to rush the rookie's return. Getting White active would be a huge help to quarterback Jay Cutler considering he has yet to have a fully healthy receiving corps in 2015. In Week 13, both Eddie Royal and Marquess Wilson were inactive while Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller dealt with rib injuries. Having a healthy White would be a huge upgrade on the field.
The Bears are hopeful White is the future along with rookie Jeremy Langford who has had a breakout season. As Chicago prepares to figure out which players to re-sign in the offseason, the development of the rookies will be a big deciding factor. With White off the field, keeping Alshon Jeffery is very important while Langford might make Matt Forte expendable in the long run. There is also the reported drama from Bennett and the expiring contract of Miller. The Bears have a lot of decisions to make coming up that could really shape the future of the team moving forward.