The Chicago Bears cannot afford for Trey Burton to be injured in 2019
A newsworthy note that came out of OTAs when Matt Nagy admitted that Trey Burton would be sitting out the sessions as he rehabbed offseason surgery. Burton missed the Chicago Bears playoff game for reasons that were unknown until now.
Missing OTAs is not a huge deal, and Burton expects to be back by training camp. However, taking Burton out of the equation and taking an overarching view of the team does paint a picture of how valuable Burton is.
To start, Nagy stressed the need for Burton. He sees Burton as more than a tight end but as a move player who can put force the defense to expose themselves. The Bears designed short yardage and ran more effectively overall by utilizing his versatility.
When Burton was on the field last season, they had a 50.3% run success rate, and 53.9% pass success rate. Without him, they had a 42% run success rate, and 46% pass success rate. The drop off was drastic.
That was mainly because on top of Burton opening up the offense as a whole due to his role, the team also lacks quality depth behind him.
When looking ahead to 2019. Shaheen is just as unproven as last season. Entering year three, it would be assumed we. are in now or never time for seeing him step forward. Nonetheless, a step forward next season would be a complimentary player who excels in the red zone. If he were to be thrust into the lead tight end role, he may be over his head.
Ben Braunecker is on the roster, but “Bronk” never was and expecting a step forward from Braunecker seems optimistic.
Lastly is Dax Raymond who was a strong find at tight end as a UDFA. Raymond profiles similarly to Burton in that he is not a stud blocker, but he can move around the formation and work with. the ball in his hands. Still, this is a UDFA for a reason. Burton was a UDFA as well but it took him two full seasons to get on an NFL field.
The Bears added an insane amount of playmakers, and we are wondering how Matt Nagy will get. them on the field. They likely are insurance for Burton, because the team will have to change their plans rather than look next man up if Burton is to get injured during the season.
Still, one thing is clear when looking at the roster after this news. Losing Burton during the regular season would be more devastating than some believe.