Bills head coach Chan Gailey gave a two to three week prognosis on rookie inside linebacker Chris White Tuesday in the wake of his ankle injury in the preseason opener at Chicago last weekend. The way the Bills sixth-round pick sees it, he's planning to be back in seven days.
"I want to get back out there as soon as possible," White told Buffalobills.com. "This is a tough business and if I don't practice I'm not going to make the team. They want people who play and are ready to play, so it's definitely stressful, but it's football and injuries occur. So I'll have to take it day-by-day and hopefully I'll be back out here next week practicing."
White suffered the ankle injury in the second half of the preseason opener.
"Somebody just fell on it and basically just rolled it up," he said.
The Mississippi State product has been a fixture at the mike linebacker spot with the second unit all through camp. The absence of fellow linebacker and draft classmate Kelvin Sheppard (hamstring) has enabled White to get a lot more reps than perhaps even he anticipated.
"It's been going pretty good until I sprained my ankle," he said. "That's set me back a little bit, but other than that it's been going pretty well. I'm learning the defense, playing hard and trying to earn a roster spot."
White was one of the players on Chan Gailey's South Team roster at the Senior Bowl this past January. Assistant head coach/Inside linebackers coach Dave Wannstedt didn't make the trip with the rest of the staff last winter having just been hired, but he's been encouraged by what he's seen from the rookie.
"Probably of all the linebackers that we evaluated he probably made the least amount of mistakes of anyone that I watched," said Wannstedt in reviewing tape of the top college prospects this past spring. "I was very impressed with him. This guy does it all good. The other coaches had him at the Senior Bowl and they just raved about his intangibles."
Playing in the SEC in college, White was far from overwhelmed after taking part in his first NFL action last weekend.
"I felt pretty good," he said. "It was definitely faster than college and much better competition out there. It's just about reading your keys, knowing the defense, playing hard and you'll be okay."
And okay is how White hopes to be describing his ankle come this time next week.