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Bears notes: TE Trey Burton not there yet, but he’s progressing toward season opener

An update on arguably the Bears’ most irreplaceable skill player.

Trey Burton is by far the most accomplished pass-catching tight end on the Bears’ roster.
AP Photos

Tight end Trey Burton, one of the Bears’ most irreplaceable offensive players, still is progressing toward game shape.

Burton has been limited in practices the last few weeks and hasn’t played in the first two preseason games. But his conditioning looked good in the scrimmage last week, and coach Matt Nagy said he is on track for the regular-season opener Sept. 5 against the Packers.

‘‘He’s in a good place,’’ Nagy said Sunday. ‘‘I’m not concerned, put it that way.

‘‘I’m excited for him for Sept. 5. He’ll be ready to go. . . . The mental part’s easy for him. It’s more so the physicality and getting your body used to running around.’’

Burton caught 54 passes for 569 yards and six touchdowns last season, and no other Bears tight end is a proven receiving threat. Adam Shaheen is next in line, and he has 17 receptions in 19 career games. He has been dealing with injuries, too.

Burton suffered a sports hernia that caused him to miss the playoff game against the Eagles last season, and the surgery upended his offseason. He went months without being able to train and needed a rest after the first five practices in camp. He called it the most challenging injury of his football career, even worse than breaking his ankle in high school.

The Bears already have considered putting Burton on a maintenance program during the season, which often means sitting out or being limited one day a week. Burton has said he doesn’t want that but accepts it’s probably necessary.

‘‘We have some guys we may do that for,’’ Nagy said. ‘‘He might be one of them, just depending on how he reacts once he’s playing.’’

Burton almost certainly won’t play Saturday against the Colts or Aug. 29 against the Titans. He has 2½ weeks to get ready for the Packers.

Offensive line injuries

Offensive linemen Cody Whitehair and Rashaad Coward hope to be good to go against the Packers after suffering minor injuries.

Whitehair, the starting left guard, injured his finger in the scrimmage last week and hasn’t worked since. Nagy said he is ‘‘going to be fine,’’ so it’s possible he’ll be back at practice this week.

Coward hurt his left elbow Friday against the Giants and already has been ruled out for this week. He’s in the running to be the Bears’ backup swing tackle. Nagy was optimistic that he’ll be back next week.