: Kevin White
Meredith had further tests done to confirm that diagnosis and the news didn’t get any better after the results came in. Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that Meredith does have a torn ACL and that he also suffered “other damage” to his knee that will require other tests.
This is an injury that looked bad from the beginning so it's not a shocking turn of events. Meredith was the team's leading WR last year. The hope for the Bears is White steps up and lives up to his first-round potential. As we said in an earlier story from today, Wheaton and Wright look to be next up on the Bears depth chart after White.
Kevin White has to take over for Cameron Meredith, plain and simple. The Bears invested the seventh overall pick of the draft in White back in 2015, but up to this point, the team has almost nothing to show for it. White has played in just four regular season games because of two separate fractures in his leg, but he’s practiced virtually every day this summer. It’s now or never. At 6-foot-3, 216 pounds, White is built like a Pro Bowler. Now it’s time to play like one.
The story listed Wheaton, Wright, Thompson and Gentry as the 2-5 receivers. Victor Cruz is also in the mix but the story said Cruz just hasn't made an impact. Wheaton is guaranteed to make $6 million so the story said he's making the team, however he's been injury. Wright, meanwhile, has had a good camp and is expected to make the 53-man roster as well.
Pam Oliver of FOX Sports reported early in the third quarter of the game that the Bears believe Meredith suffered a torn ACL.
Related players: Kevin White
Meredith’s leg bent the wrong way when he was brought down at the end of a play and it was quickly immobilized before Meredith rode a cart to the locker room. Meredith was Chicago’s leading receiver last year and his injury will increase the need for 2015 first-round pick White to make good on his potential after two years that were all but wiped out due to injury.
Bears WR Cam Meredith is about to get carted off. Just awful. Last thing you want to see. His left knee was bent in a bad way.
The hits just keep on coming. Meredith was shaping up as an excellent middle-round value but now his Week 1 (and season) status are in serious question. Kevin White and Kendall Wright will probably be the two most fantasy relevant receivers on the Bears' roster if Meredith misses time.
Bears WR Kevin White at least is back to full speed after spending part of the winter in Phoenix at the Fischer Institute of Physical Therapy and Performance, where he retaught his body to run with the proper alignment and technique. That has allowed him to resume his developmental process as a receiver this spring.
Azzanni attested that White still has to answer questions about his route-running, given that he didn't run the full route tree at West Virginia.
"We've been working on that hard, some of his breaking-point stuff," Azzanni said. "A lot of times when you're a big guy like that, stopping and change of direction is hard."
During offense-only drills earlier in May, White ran a curl on which he sank his body and exploded back to the ball.
"A bunch of mouths dropped," Azzanni recalled. "Like the wideouts (said), 'Wow, we have not seen Kevin do that in a long time.' I think that got him excited."
This is good news since the last update on May 24 said that White was "working to align his stride." If healthy, White will likely get the chance to start opposite Cameron Meredith, who is the better fantasy option at this point. White came out of college with sub-4.40 speed and has a top 10 pedigree, so the Bears are still optimistic that he'll get his career back on track.
Kevin White's status will continue to trigger public consternation until he proves himself durable and, beyond that, capable of being a difference-maker worthy of the seventh overall pick in 2015.
After a stress fracture in his left tibia ruined his rookie season and a left fibular spiral fracture and severe ankle ligament damage cost him 12 games last season, White spent the last few months working to align his stride.
Following two leg surgeries, is he the same downfield threat the Bears expected when he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds more than two years ago? The Bears don't know. Tuesday offered no reasons for optimism, and although quarterback Mike Glennon indicated White practiced Monday, Fox declined to say whether White will return to the field during OTAs.
Related players: Cameron Meredith
We already have Cameron Meredith ranked ahead of White, and that will continue, especially if White's injury woes spill into the summer. He needs to be a full go at this point if he hopes to overtake Meredith.
Serious leg injuries in each of his first two NFL seasons have forced Kevin White to miss 28 of 32 games. But the Bears are confident that the young receiver possesses the drive and determination to relaunch his career.
"Knowing his work ethic and his approach and his support system, I know he's going to come back ready to go," said general manager Ryan Pace. "He has just got to shake off some of that bad luck. Kevin is going to have to step up and stay healthy."
White has been anything but since being selected by the Bears with the seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft out of West Virginia. He missed his entire rookie season with a stress fracture in his left leg and then broke his fibula in the same leg in the fourth game last year, eventually undergoing surgery for the second straight season.
White has shown promise when healthy; his 19 receptions last year were the most ever by a Bears player through the first four games of a season, the story said. The key moving forward, of course, is for the 6-3, 216-pounder to stay on the field and out of the training room.
Five-plus weeks into the NFL season, Bears receiver Alshon Jeffery has been targeted with 31 passes, making him tied with eight other players for 49th in the NFL. There are six players ahead of Jeffery that have played only four games, including teammate Kevin White. Despite the exodus of other top targets like Martellus Bennett and Matt Forte, Jeffery's targets per game average is down to 6.2 a week after averaging 9.4 per game over the last three seasons.
Still, Bears coach John Fox does not necessarily think Jeffery needs to be thrown the ball more often.
"We would like to have the ball more. We would like to score more points," Fox said Friday, per the Chicago Tribune. "But there's only one ball, and it's hard to get it to everybody. I think he has been what I would consider -- I think our opponents do too -- pretty productive."
While Fox doesn't seem to mind, publicly at least, the fact is Jeffery is more talented than Eddie Royal and Zachary Miller, who have more catches than Jeffery this season. Considering the team is 1-4 and averaging just 17 points a game, this is something that may change sooner than later.
Already added to injured reserve, the news that Bears WR Kevin White will undergo surgery to help repair a fractured fibula only solidifies the fact that he will be a non-factor for most of this season.
Already ineligible to return until Week 13, the Bears hope that surgery can expedite White's recovery and have him back on the field some time in December.
With White added to IR, he is droppable in all formats. Even if he does return after Week 13, he is not a player that you would consider starting in the fantasy playoffs. Eddie Royal and Cameron Meredith, who exploded for 130 yards and a score in Week 5, should be added in all formats and will offer WR3/Flex value throughout the season.
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