Chicago Bears rookie wide receiver Kevin White needs surgery for a leg stress fracture and will miss at least half of the regular season.
General manager Ryan Pace says the first-round draft pick will have an operation on his shin and spend at least eight games on the physically unable to perform list (PUP).
White had leg pain during organized team activities in June and hasn't practiced in training camp.
He tried to run for the first time on the side of the practice field last week, but experienced more pain and Pace confirmed the team decided surgery was the best course.
"Kevin will remain on PUP," Pace said. "That gives us the option of bringing him up in the later portions of the season if need be.
“But I want to state right now our whole focus is his long-term health. I know he's going to be a great player for the Chicago Bears.
“I can think back to a lot of rookies as you look at the history of the NFL that have had some setbacks and I know this is going to be a blip on the radar as he has a long, successful career."
Pace added: “Honestly, is there a chance that he misses the season? That's a possibility. I want to make sure we do this the right way, not rush him back. Sometimes I feel like you have to protect them from themselves."
The Bears drafted White seventh overall with the vision of the former West Virginia standout replacing Brandon Marshall as a top target for Jay Cutler across from star wideout Alshon Jeffery.
With White out of the picture for the foreseeable future, veteran Eddie Royal will assume a bigger role in the offense.