<
>

Bears TE Trey Burton cleared after offseason surgery

BOURBONNAIS -- Chicago Bears tight end Trey Burton took the field for Chicago’s first training camp practice on Friday, roughly two months after undergoing sports hernia surgery to repair a lingering issue that sidelined Burton for their playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in January.

“I’m still working. I feel like I’m doing pretty good. I’m just taking it slow,” Burton said after Friday’s workout, which was closed to the public.

“My offseason was different. I’ve never had anything like this. I’ve never had an injury that’s kept me out more than a week, so it’s a learning curve and you have to learn how to take it slow and not rush too fast. Just really had to learn to slow down a little bit.”

The Bears paid handsomely to acquire Burton in free agency prior to the 2018 season, signing the Eagle to a four-year deal that included $22 million in guarantees. Chicago paid Burton $11.3 million in total cash last year, and he’s due to make $6.8 million in 2019.

Burton finished last season fourth on the team in receptions (54) and receiving yards (569), but second in touchdown receptions (six).

Bears coach Matt Nagy described Burton, who is entering his sixth NFL season, as an ascending player who again figures to play a prominent role on offense.

“He’s on the rise,” Nagy said. “So, as close as everybody thinks our offense is with Philadelphia and what he came from, there’s a lot of similarities. But at the same time, I’m learning who he was, what his strengths and weaknesses are. I said it with Alex [Smith] and Mitch {Trubisky], learning how they’re different and how they’re the same. Well it’s the same thing with [Travis] Kelce and Trey. They’re both very good tight ends, but they’re different.

"So now I think I have a better feel on what Trey does well, along with our quarterback having a better feel. [Bears general manager] Ryan [Pace] has done a great job of getting so many weapons on our offense. And there’s going to be times when you are all coming to me, saying, ‘Why didn’t this guy get the ball? Why didn’t he have this many touches? Why didn’t he have many catches? I’m just putting it out there right now, that’s who we are.”