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Year 3 for Kevin White with the Chicago Bears officially came to a close on Thursday.
When Chicago opted to open up Quintin Demps’ 21-day practice window off injured reserve on Thursday it eliminated White’s chances of returning. Each NFL team has the ability to take two players on injured reserve and the Bears previously allowed safety Deiondre Hall to return to practice off injured reserve last week, leaving no more options for White this season.
The seventh overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft has appeared in just five games in his career. The West Virginia standout missed his entire rookie season with a shin injury before going down in Week 4 of the 2016 season with a broke fibula. After appearing in Week 1 this season against the Atlanta Falcons, White was placed on injured reserve with a fractured left shoulder blade.
In five career games he has caught just 21 passes for 193 yards with zero touchdowns. He has also recorded one rushing attempt for nine yards.
A month ago the Bears bounced around the idea of White returning this season after he successfully underwent surgery and returned to Halas Hall.
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“That’s been kind of tossed around, not really seriously discussed,” Fox said in late October. “He’s back in the building. He has been in meetings. He has spent time with the players. I think those things are important. Even just watching other people do it, even though it’s not your experience, I think you can learn from other people’s mistakes or you can learn just by watching and getting a better understanding. So he’s in the building. We haven’t really discussed seriously at this point about if he can come back. But he’s eligible.”
Many thought there was a chance he could return this season after he traveled with the team this past Sunday when the Bears took on the Philadelphia Eagles. It was the first time this season he traveled with the team for a game.
With White unable to return to the field for the third straight season his future in Chicago remains in question. The production and availability clearly has not been there for him, but the Bears still owe him significant money next season.
White signed a four-year deal worth $16,563,047 in 2015 and had a $4.5 million cap hit this season. He is set to count for over $5.2 million against the cap next season and Chicago would not save any money by releasing him. If they were to trade him they could save over $2.6 million against the cap.
Unless another team wants damaged goods, or the Bears are willing to just eat the money, White likely will get one final shot next season in Chicago.