LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White will be placed on injured reserve with a fractured left fibula, costing him much of the season after missing his entire rookie season with a stress fracture in the same leg.
White was injured Sunday in a 17-14 victory over the Detroit Lions. In addition to the broken bone, White suffered a high ankle sprain as he was tackled during the third quarter.
White leads the Bears this season in receptions with 19, and has 187 receiving yards. The seventh overall draft pick in 2015, he went on IR during the preseason last year because of left shin injury.
Coach John Fox characterized the latest injury as a “spiral fracture” and said White could come off IR late in the season.
“This injury is not nearly as serious as the last one,” Fox said Wednesday. “It’s a completely different bone in the lower leg.”
White was gradually picking up the NFL game and had six catches Sunday against the Lions. Fox called it White’s best game and quarterback Brian Hoyer agreed.
“Just as a football player, football awareness, catching the ball, really everywhere he was making strides each week,” Hoyer said. “So I know that’s disappointing for him.”
Missing most of his first two seasons could lead to a problem in White’s development. Fox said his own experience with Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas keeps him from selling players short due to missed time early in their careers.
“He (Thomas) probably didn’t do a whole lot until year three,” Fox said. “He had setbacks and he was injured coming out of college. He had an Achilles injury after that and a finger injury after that and he had two surgeries in his first year and a half of NFL football. He’s turned out pretty good.”
With White gone, Bears backups Cameron Meredith and Josh Bellamy will be called on to make bigger contributions at wide receiver to provide a counter threat to Alshon Jeffery heading into Sunday’s game at Indianapolis.
Meredith had four catches against Detroit for 28 yards. A former quarterback at Illinois State, he thinks that experience can give him an advantage.
“It’s started to kind of fade away,” Meredith said of his background throwing passes instead of catching them. “But those little things, you need to get on the same page with the quarterback, know where they want to throw the ball. I’m excited to get out there and make some plays.”
Hoyer continued taking snaps with the first team with Jay Cutler sidelined due to a thumb sprain. Cutler did not practice again Wednesday.
On Monday, Fox called every position performance-based including quarterback. This would suggest Hoyer can keep the position if he continues to produce like he did Sunday with 302 passing yards and a passer rating of 120.1.
“At this point I’m just trying to keep doing what I’m doing, keep doing what I’m asked of,” Hoyer said. “And when I get a chance to play, play the best I can.”
Notes: Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, who had thumb surgery two weeks ago, practiced Wednesday on a limited basis with a cast on his hand. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said it’s his experience that playing with cast doesn’t work well, but it’s possible Trevathan could manage it.