BOURBONNAIS – The last eight months have been uncharted territory for one of the Bears’ most unique offensive weapons.
There was the groin injury that led to his late scratch from the Bears’ Wild Card playoff game against the Eagles in January. Then this offseason, he had sports hernia surgery that kept him out of OTA workouts.
“I’ve never had anything like this before, every, yeah,” said tight end Trey Burton of his injury and surgery in 2019. ” In high school, I broke an ankle during the offseason, but never anything close to this.”
Now it’s made for a very unusual situation for the versatile player as he enters his sixth season: Being patient while working to return to the field.
“Man, it’s been really frustrating,” said Burton, who spent the Bourbonnais portion of training camp in and out of practice. “I want to be out there with the guys. I can’t stand sitting on the sidelines and not playing. So it’s really, really ben frustrating from that standpoint but I know there’s a bigger picture in mind.”
That comes from Matt Nagy and the team’s athletic training staff, who had Burton out at practice early but pulled him out when soreness crept in during the tight end’s workouts. Burton said there was no setback at any point, and he did return to the field for the final two workouts at Olivet Nazarene University.
Yet going in and out of the lineup has made for a tedious recovery for the tight end as he desires to be back on the field while those around him are dealing with him cautiously.
“It’s not easy. We don’t bump heads, but I do state that I want to be out as much as I can and play as much as I can,” said Burton. “But I obviously trust them; they know what they’re doing, and I just can’t wait to get back out.”
“It’s tough because I’m not the type of guy who likes to sit out. I wanna go, so I’m having to be held back and they’re telling me ‘No, you can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ Which I understand, but I don’t like it. I have to trust them and I believe in them.”
In this way, he can be ready to use his skill set to aid the Bears’ offense in the second year of Nagy’s offense. As he along with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky learn the intricacies of the offense, there is hope that Burton can add to his total of 54 catches for 569 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Of course, he has to get fully healthy to make that happen. Burton said he’s getting some good training during the preseason workouts, making up for some of the offseason activity he missed.
“We’re getting there,” said Burton. “Every day is a different day; you have good days, you have bad days, and we’re having a lot more good days now then, you know, we had in the beginning.”
Frankly, the end can’t come soon enough for a player who is dealing with the first major injury of his career.