Road to recovery forces Tre’Davious White to find his purpose

READY TO GO:  Shreveport native and Green Oaks High School product Tre’Davious White is ready to return to the playing field in Buffalo after recovering from knee surgery. (File photo by CHRISTI LANG, Journal Sports)

By ROY LANG III, Journal Sports

You don’t need to spend 30 seconds around Tre’Davious White to be infected by his joyous personality. Not only is he an All-Pro cornerback in the NFL, but he’s a willing champion of his local community.

In a cruel twist of fate, when he made his return to play football in Louisiana last fall, the Green Oaks product was delivered a devastating blow as he suffered a torn ACL in a Thanksgiving Day game against the Saints.

The injury has tested the normally upbeat former LSU star.

“The first few months it was very hard,” White told the media Wednesday. “It was a very depressing time. I was locked up in my basement — guys at the (Bills) facility had to come drag me out of there.”

White’s inability to excel on an athletic field offered several tests. 

“Ever since I was 6 years old, it’s been, football, basketball, track – football, basketball, track,” he said.

“That’s 20 years and this is the first time I’ve had to sit out. It’s given me a different perspective.

“I have more to give people than knocking passes down and intercepting the ball. It’s the first chance I’ve had to sit down and say, ‘I’m Tre’Davious White, what else do I have to offer people?’ I started reading and getting into a different space – learning about myself and ‘what’s my purpose other than playing a football game?’”

White is back on Buffalo’s active roster and did not appear on the team’s initial injury report in preparation for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

“He’ll remain day to day, and (I’m) not really going to get into speculating on whether he’s going to play this week or not,” Buffalo head coach Sean McDermott said.

The Bills drafted White with the 27th pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. He’s totaled 16 interceptions, 60 passes defended, 11 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles during his career.

White was named First Team All-Pro in 2019 after he tied for league lead with six interceptions and was selected to a pair of Pro Bowls (2019, 2020).

“It was good to see 2-7 out there,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen said. “I’m sure he’s chomping at the bit to get out there. He’s worked extremely hard. I know it’s been a trying year — to see him grow mentally on the field and off the field is exciting for sure.”

The Bills are 6-1 and have allowed an NFL-best 14 points per game, even without White. 

“My team’s pretty good, huh?” White said. “You haven’t noticed I haven’t been out there.”

His teammates have certainly noticed.

“He brings so much joy and energy,” Bills defensive back Christian Benford said. “He so loud and confident and giddy, so it’s cool to watch him back.”

Buffalo is an overwhelming favorite to be the last team standing at the end of the season and it’s about to add a rejuvenated superstar.

“I’m still going. It’s been a process,” White said. “It’s been fun. Every day, it’s been tough times, too. I have my days where it’s just kicking my ass, but I have more days where I’m kicking its ass.”

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