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Bears' Kevin White (fibula) placed on injured reserve

Kevin White's NFL career can't get off the ground.

The Chicago Bears announced Wednesday they placed the former first-round pick on injured reserve after suffering a fractured left fibula and a high ankle sprain in the team's Week 4 win over the Detroit Lions.

General manager Ryan Pace said surgery is an option for White. He could be eligible to return in eight weeks if healed. Former first-round corner Kyle Fullerwas previously placed on IR. Only one player can return from IR per team.

It's one step forward and two steps back for White, who missed his entire rookie season after suffering a stress fracture in his shin last year. His recent fracture is unrelated to the injury that wiped out his first pro season.

The news is depressing for Bears fans. White was in the midst of his best game as a pro; then injury struck. The 6-foot-3 wideout snagged six of his nine targets for 55 yards before leaving midway through the third quarter. White finally displayed toughness at the point of the catch and ability to box out defenders. White's role had grown the past two weeks with Brian Hoyer spreading the ball around.

The Bears offered an intriguing trio of receivers with Alshon Jeffery's ability to win down the field, Eddie Royal's run-after-the-catch acumen and White's big-body play. With White out, Cameron Meredith will take snaps as the No. 3 receiver. Expect tight end Zach Miller's role in the offense to grow even further.

The Bears started the season a disheartening 1-3 with an injury-plagued, talent-poor roster that ranks 30th on Around The NFL's quarter-mark Power Poll. The growth of young players like White, running back Jordan Howard and a litter of secondary cubs over the course of the season is what the fan base is counting on tracking.

White can't make progress from the rehab room.

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