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Burton out indefinitely (hernia surgery)

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On 6/1/2019 at 6:51 AM, soulman said:

Chicago Bears: Trey Burton injury shines light on lack of depth at TE

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.

Adam Shaheen was only active for six games last season, and Dion Sims played in just eight. Creativity at the position turned into lack of respect quickly without Burton.

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.

Behind him is currently Bradley Sowell, who moved to tight end to take on more blocking duties. Likely to spare Burton in this area to ensure he does not get hurt.

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.

I don’t think anyone would suggest that we wouldn’t miss Burton were he to miss time for any reason, but we are SO much better insulated to withstand such a loss this year than last. Our TE depth chart is essentially unchanged if you figure Sowell taking the Sims role from last year. The insulation is everywhere else.

In 2017 we had realistically 3 NFL caliber WR with one of them coming off an ACL and another battling a dislocated shoulder starting in week 3, and just 1 RB getting regular reps who was a threat in the passing game. This year we have 6 NFL caliber WR heading to camp plus a fringe NFL WR in Marvin Hall even if Emanuel Hall spends all of 2019 on IR, plus 4 RB, at least 3 of whom are completely legitimate receiving threats. We literally have more than twice as many viable passing game options as in 2018 should Burton be unavailable, and that assumes we get a complete zero from a now healthy Shaheen and from Raymond should he make the squad. 

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