Trey Burton Sidelined Again As Bears Ease Him Back

"I'm trying to protect him a little bit," Matt Nagy says of Burton's status.

Chris Emma
August 05, 2019 - 12:48 pm
Bears tight end Trey Burton

Quinn Harris/USA Today Sports

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (670 The Score) -- The Bears are counting on tight end Trey Burton as a key piece in their offense, knowing well he's the lone proven player at his position. It's why coach Matt Nagy is taking the cautious route bringing Burton back up to speed after offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia.

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Burton didn't practice with the Bears at Olivet Nazarene on Monday morning, marking his third consecutive missed practice. It's unclear when he will be back on the field. 

"I'm trying to protect him a little bit," Nagy said of Burton after practice. "I need him and we need him 100 percent for Week 1. We feel that way. 

"It's hard to come back and just be thrusted in and try to look like yourself. We're trying to slowly do it. We'll pick it up. We'll start getting him more reps as we go here. But I'm protecting him right now."

The 27-year-old Burton missed the Bears' wild-card round loss to the Eagles in early January with a sudden injury believed later to be related to the sports hernia. He has been present with the team at practice but not participating.

Rookie receiver Riley Riley returned to practice Monday morning after suffering a hamstring injury the first day of work in Bourbonnais. The Bears will take the cautious route with his health as well, Nagy said. The same goes with veteran receiver Taylor Gabriel, who was held out for part of practice while experiencing hamstring soreness. 

Nagy noticed his team was practicing a bit sluggish as it returned from the off day Sunday.

"This was the day," Nagy said. "What I mean by that is right now being in the middle of camp, I think the guys' legs are tired and they're feeling a little sluggish. You always have these days. It's a matter of when it comes. Today was it. I thought they did a pretty good job of fighting through it. 

"We got to be mentally tough. Our guys got to stay strong. They got to fight through this. Losing teams don't fight through it. We fought through it. So I was appreciative of that."

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.