Ex-Bears RB Signs With Packers Amidst Injury Issues

Kerrith Whyte

Getty Former Bears RB Kerrith Whyte has signed with the Packers.

The Green Bay Packers will be without Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones for the next several weeks as he recovers from a sprained (MCL) in his right knee. With Jones out, Green Bay brought in reinforcements, signing former Chicago Bears running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. to the practice squad.

A former seventh round pick for the Bears (no. 222 overall) out of Florida Atlantic, Whyte worked out for the Packers earlier in the week, and they must have liked what they saw. Jones is set to miss 1-2 weeks, per NFL insider Adam Schefter, so Whyte’s stay in Green Bay could be short-lived.

If Jones does return after missing two games, he’ll be slated to return Week 14, when the Bears play the Packers in prime time.

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Whyte Was Poached Off Chicago’s Practice Squad as a Rookie

In his three seasons as a starter at Florida Atlantic, Whyte had 232 carries for 1,358 yards and 11 touchdowns, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. He was also a dangerous return man, averaging over 26 yards per kick return. Whyte’s speed was appealing to the Bears, as he ran a 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at FAU’s Pro Day, and they took him in the final round in 2019.

The Bears placed Whyte on their practice squad, but he didn’t stay there long. The Pittsburgh Steelers poached him in November of 2019, and he played in six games as a rookie, finishing with 24 rushes for 122 yards (that’s 5.1 yards a carry). He also returned 14 kicks, averaging 18.9 yards per return.

Whyte has kicked around a bit since his time with the Steelers, spending the 2020 season on the Detroit Lions’ practice squad. He had cups of coffee with the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars this year, most recently spending a few weeks on the Jags’ PS before getting released on November 8.

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Bears Have Been in Good Hands With David Montgomery

The 2019 draft was also the one that brought RB David Montgomery to the Windy City. Chicago selected Montgomery in the third round that year, moving up to nab him. With Tarik Cohen also on the roster at the time, there was little room for Whyte, but it certainly worked out for the Bears.

Montgomery has become one of the more underrated backs in the league, finishing in the top 5 in rushing yards in 2020. He has seen his 2021 campaign shortened by a knee injury, missing Weeks 5-8, but in five games, he has averaged a career-high 4.5 yards and scored three TDs, and just returned to action Week 9. With eight games remaining on the schedule, Montgomery has a shot at netting his second 1,000-yard season in a row if he can stay healthy.

The Bears have also gotten a boost in the run game from Khalil Herbert, a rookie sixth rounder who filled in capably in Montgomery’s absence, rushing for 364 yards and a score on 85 carries so far this season.

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