Chicago Bears: Kevin White has not earned a thing

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Kevin White of the West Virginia Mountaineers holds up a jersey after being chosen
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 30: Kevin White of the West Virginia Mountaineers holds up a jersey after being chosen /

One of the biggest mysteries from the Chicago Bears’ first preseason game was why receiver Kevin White was not on the field.

21 catches, 193 yards and zero touchdowns in five regular season games played. Chicago Bears fourth-year wide receiver Kevin White is down to (most likely) his last chance to make it in the NFL after three straight years of serious injuries.

So, why on earth was he not on the field last Thursday against the Baltimore Ravens?

Thus far, new head coach Matt Nagy has thoroughly impressed me. I haven’t had grounds to question him with any of his decisions to this point. But, there is a first time for everything.

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White sat out that first preseason game while all of the second, third and fourth string guys got ample playing time. Having a new coach and offensive scheme, the Bears were given a huge advantage of a fifth preseason game this year. With a guy like White, who needs all the reps he can get, you would have thought he would also reap the benefits of such an advantage.

But, there we were on Thursday night, ready to see what White could do and — nothing. He did not take the field.

Is this because, in Nagy’s mind, he has already earned a roster spot? Because, if that’s the case, fans should be furious. If you have seen White in camp so far, you know he has been about as sporadic with his play as they come.

I was there on a day where he was yelled at multiple times within a short period, simply for lining up incorrectly. The next day, he had an inexcusable dropped pass. The day after that, White caught a long bomb from quarterback Mitch Trubisky and the crowd went nuts.

His camp may have had some great moments this year, but he’s been a far cry from the guy the Bears need him to be. White still looks awfully tense out there. Just watch the likes of rookie Anthony Miller or veteran Allen Robinson, and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. They are much more loose in their play. They’re relaxed. White continues to play like he’s somewhat scared.

Is that justified? Sure. I get it. Nothing but injuries over his first three seasons will do that. But, there comes a time where he should finally let loose and understand this might be his last shot.

White has done nothing to earn a spot on this roster — nothing.

Going forward, I want to see White on the field in every single preseason game. As a fan, I remember the excitement of seeing White drafted seventh overall. I remember the first time he was injured — then the second and third time thereafter. The fact is, he’s barely been on the field as a pro and looks like he’s already made this roster.

That’s a problem.

White needs reps, period. This isn’t a knock on him as a person or even as a player. It’s a fair assessment of what I (along with fans everywhere) have seen out of this kid not only in his first three seasons, but in training camp this year.

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Get him on the field and keep him out there; I implore you, coach Nagy. Let him earn this. Allow him to prove he deserves it. Let nothing be handed out based on a name or draft position. Let him earn it the right way.