Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
I'm eager to see Kevin White finally get healthy and hopefully stay on the field so he gets a chance to show what he can do. When is he expected to return from his latest injury?
The Bears have not discussed an official timetable, but when Kevin White met with the media the day after the season finale, he said he would be 100 percent by the start of the offseason program in April. As you know, White missed his entire rookie season in 2015 with a stress fracture in his left leg, returned to play in the first four games in 2016 but then was lost for the season with a broken fibula in the same leg. White said he has "no doubt at all" that he can still become the player the Bears envisioned when they selected him with the seventh overall pick in the draft and is motivated by those who don't think he's capable of doing so, saying: "Just like people doubted me to get into the NFL, I made it happen and I'll make it happen again." White is currently regaining his strength and mobility and vows that he won't be tentative when he is cleared to return, saying: "Once I get the green light to do what I can, I'm going to take off."
I personally think that improving the secondary would greatly help the Bears defense be much more successful. Would you agree that it's a position that needs to be addressed?
I think anyone who watched the Bears in 2016 would agree that the secondary is among the team's most pressing needs heading into the offseason. In fact, general manager Ryan Pace addressed the situation at his end-of-season press conference. When asked about the defense generating the fewest takeaways in Bears history with 11, Pace said: "I honestly think we need to add more playmakers to our secondary. We need to add more ball skills to our secondary. That's on me and we'll do that. That's a position that's going to be a major need going forward."
Of the five quarterbacks on the Bears roster or injured reserve, I believe that four are due to become free agents (Brian Hoyer, Matt Barkley, Connor Shaw and David Fales), while Jay Cutler's future with the team is uncertain. Of those five, who is most likely to return next season?
Oak Park, Illinois
That's a very good question and one I believe that we should turn into a poll on ChicagoBears.com. (Thanks for the idea, Phil.) If I had to pick one at this juncture—I am just speculating here and not relying on any "inside" information—I would have to say that Brian Hoyer is most likely to return, based primarily on his track record and experience. He may not have the ideal big-play ability you want at the quarterback position, but he operates the offense with efficiency and takes good care of the ball. Hoyer appeared in six games with five starts in 2016, completing 67 percent of his passes for 1,445 yards with six touchdowns, no interceptions and a 98.0 passer rating. In the past two years with the Bears and Texans, Hoyer has thrown for 25 touchdowns and just seven interceptions on 569 attempts. It remains to be seen whether Hoyer would be viewed as a potential starter or just a reliable backup, but I think there's a good chance he could be back in a Bears uniform in 2017.