Trey Burton Trusting Bears' Plan With Health

The Bears have eased Burton back after surgery for a sports hernia.

Chris Emma
August 10, 2019 - 1:08 pm

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (670 The Score) -- While the Bears worked through an open practice in front of 9,141 fans Saturday morning, veteran tight end Trey Burton was forced off to the side once again.

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Burton isn't yet ready to step back into his role in the Bears' offense. After undergoing offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia, he's still working his way back to form while the Bears closely monitor his health and conditioning level.

The Bears will continue to "protect" Burton -- as coach Matt Nagy put it -- throughout the course of the preseason. Burton had previously said he won't play in any of the preseason games, and Nagy backed that claim.

"We want to make sure that he's right for September 5," Nagy said. "Quite honestly, I couldn't care less about any of the preseason.

"We have to sometimes protect the player from the player, and that’s what we’re kind of doing."

Related: Anthony Miller leaves practice with apparent injury

Burton has been dealing with the effects of the sports hernia since experiencing pain ahead of the Bears' wild-card round loss to the Eagles on Jan. 6. He first appeared on the injury report the night before the game, then was ruled out 90 minutes ahead of kickoff. A day after the game, Burton spoke of his frustration in having this injury arise without knowledge of what it was.

It later became clear to Burton that he had a sports hernia and would need a procedure, which took place in the spring. He sat out the offseason program while recovering with training camp as the targeted goal. Burton was practicing with the Bears shortly after they arrived at Olivet Nazarene, but his conditioning level wasn't quite where it needed to be after only a short period with good health.

"It's been really frustrating," Burton said. "I want to be out there with the guys. I can't stand sitting on the sidelines. It's really been frustrating from that standpoint. But there's a bigger picture in mind.

"It's not easy. We don't bump heads. But I do state that I want to be out as much as I can, play as much as I can. But I obviously trust them. They know what they're doing. I just can't wait to get out."

Signed to a four-year deal in March 2018, Burton made an impact his first season with the Bears. He posted 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns last season. 

The 27-year-old Burton once broke an ankle in high school but said that and any other injury that he's had can't compare to the difficulty this one has presented.

"It's tough because I'm not the type of guy that wants to sit out," he said. "I want to go (play)."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.