LAKE FOREST, Ill. — Kevin White made his appearance at locker-room clean-out day as a rehabilitating player for the second season in a row. A high ankle sprain and fractured fibula meant the team’s 2015 No. 7 pick missed all but four games a year after missing his entire rookie campaign.
He does expect this to be an easier rehab process.
“I’ll be back just fine,” he said in his first time talking to reporters since the injury. “It won’t mess my game up at all.”
White said he knew right away the ankle injury would be at least a month, and then had to receive the news of another serious leg injury.
“I just couldn’t put a lot of pressure on it. Even that was hard for me to take,” he said. “Once I knew it would be over for the season, that was really hard. You bounce back.”
White has to be ready for another year in the spotlight with people doubting his durability.
“It don’t bother me at all,” he said. “Just like people doubted me to get into the NFL. I made it happen, and I’ll make it happen again.”
QBs prefer to return: Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley will be free agents in March, though both expressed an interest in staying with the organization.
Hoyer spoke to the media for the first time since broke a bone in his forearm in Green Bay on Oct. 20. He was cleared to play on Monday and he discussed the importance of being in the same system after being with three different play-callers the last three seasons.
Barkley told reporters that he “definitely” wants to return.
Praise for Fangio: Considering the reports about Vic Fangio’s potentially tenuous relationship with John Fox, one of the defense’s captains spoke highly of his coordinator.
“He meant a lot, just being a teacher and me being a student and him playing chess, not checkers on the field, so he’s a different defensive coordinator who brings different schemes and just a whole bunch of different things to the game,” said Pernell McPhee, who added that he expects Fangio back next season.
Dreaming of playoffs: Kyle Long described his desire to get to the postseason.
“I just know what this city’s like when the Bears win. And I had a taste of it my rookie year and I sniffed the playoffs and we lost by a close margin there. I want to get back to that. I want to go to the playoffs,” he said. “I want to have 10 wins before we get to the playoffs and have an opportunity to have home-field advantage.
“A frickin’ playoff game in Chicago — can you imagine that? Right now I know it’s not something that’s realistic, being 3-13 and we’re in the offseason, but these are things than when I lay my head on the pillow and that I think about and it keeps me up pretty late and that’s what’s going to get me through this process, because I know I’ll be able to run through that tunnel again.”