August 10, 2015

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) The Chicago Bears may not have first-round draft pick Kevin White running routes for Jay Cutler until the regular season.

White, the seventh selection in the 2015 draft, hasn't practiced yet in training camp due to a left shin injury. The Bears have been vague on the exact nature of the injury, although coach John Fox has referred to it as ''shin splints.''

On Monday, White began jogging at practice for the first time on dry land during training camp.

''Sure, we'd love to have him play in a preseason game, obviously,'' wide receivers coach Mike Groh said. ''The more he can get out here with Jay (Cutler) and the rest of the offense, the better.

''But that's probably not going to be the case.''

The Bears continue to take all precautions with White.

''He's been running, but it's been in water, some various types of exercises that don't take pounding on the legs,'' Fox said.

Fox said White will not be rushed onto the field.

''He's at the bit ready to go, and we've got to be smart enough to ease him back into it,'' Fox said. ''He's not played football in 7 1/2 or eight weeks, so it would be crazy for us just to throw him back out there.''

In describing the situation White faces, Groh invoked the name of Odell Beckham Jr., the Giants' draft pick who last year missed all of training camp and the first four games of the regular season with a hamstring injury. He then won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors with 91 catches for 1,305 yards.

''Just like we saw Odell Beckham do last year. He missed a lot of time early and I think he must have stayed engaged mentally, they kept him going, kept him engaged in the meetings,'' Groh said, '' and that's what we've tried to do here. And when he can go there and do it, he's going to do it.''

Groh said White had a solid base in the offense before the shin pain sidelined him during the end of organized team activities in June.

''He's done a great job,'' Groh said. ''From the day that we took him, he came out to Halas Hall. The moment he could start learning the playbook, he did. And he absorbed the playbook.''

Before training camp, White went to Nashville to talk with Cutler about the offense, but hasn't caught a pass from Cutler since June.

''He's going to be out here when the time comes,'' Cutler said. ''He came to Nashville and we talked a lot down there and walked through some things.

''I know he's doing everything he can to get out here.''

Third-year receiver Marquess Wilson has taken more snaps with White sidelined, and it's also meant more for free agent acquisition Eddie Royal.

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