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Bears TE Trey Burton out for OTAs after offseason surgery

Trey Burton missed the Bears’ playoff game with a groin injury that popped up literally overnight.  

Green Bay Packers v Chicago Bears
Bears tight end Trey Burton celebrates a touchdown catch with teammates against the Green Bay Packers in December.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Trey Burton missed the Bears’ wild-card game against the Eagles with a groin injury that popped up literally overnight.

When the pain didn’t go away, Burton underwent sports hernia surgery nearly two months ago, coach Matt Nagy revealed Wednesday. The starting tight end will miss all organized team activity practices and the Bears’ mandatory minicamp next month. The Bears believe he will be back by training camp, which starts in mid-July.

“That’s what we’re hoping, yeah,” Nagy said. “That would be great.”

Burton woke up the day before the playoff game with a groin injury that was confirmed by MRI exams. He said afterward that his body has a history of locking up when it feels “any threat,” but he didn’t believe his previous struggles with anxiety played a role in the injury. He reiterated that stance during Super Bowl week.

Burton wasn’t available to the media Wednesday.

“When the season was over, we just thought, ‘OK, let’s pull back a little bit, and let’s let him get a little bit of rest, come back and see where it’s at,’ ” Nagy said. “We did that, and he wasn’t feeling really comfortable with it. And so we went ahead and a couple months ago he ended up getting sports hernia surgery. So no need for us to keep dragging this thing out. Let’s get the thing right. And so we feel like we’ve done that.”

Tight ends coach Kevin Gilbride believes Burton shouldn’t have any setbacks.

“He’s not gonna miss that much by not being here,” Gilbride said. “He’s in all the meetings. He’s studying film. Knowing his role of trying to help some of the young guys, that keeps him sharp and keeps him focused on, ‘I could’ve done this better as I saw it on film when it was being described by Coach,’ and that type of thing.”

Gilbride said Burton’s experience in the offense — he played in a similar system with the Eagles — means he can stay sharp without having to be on the field.

“You always want guys out there to continue their physical and mental development of understanding the offense and how to execute the offense,” he said. “But for a guy like Trey who has a wealth of knowledge of this offense, he’ll be able to bounce back and be fine after not going through this offseason program.”