Bears tight end Trey Burton went through the first five practices of training camp, which seemed like progress in his return from sports hernia surgery. However, coach Matt Nagy thought he struggled near the end of that stretch and held him out Friday and Saturday.
“This is a guy that really hasn’t done anything for five months,” Nagy said. “If you don’t do something for five months, it takes a little bit of time.
“I felt like we might have been putting too much on him right away, so I’m going to, days-off-wise, just make sure I’m being real cautious with him. I want him to feel real good and we just felt like the last couple days he’s been a little sluggish.”
The Bears called Friday and Saturday scheduled days off for Burton. He was with the team both days, presumably working with the training staff. He was not on the field either day.
Burton is as crucial as any Bears skill player this season. He’s coming off a career year of 54 catches, 569 yards and six touchdowns, and the team has no proven pass-catching tight end behind him.
He missed the Bears’ playoff game with what was initially called a groin injury, but the team later determined he had a sports hernia. That was a major obstacle in his offseason work, and there was uncertainty as to whether he’d be healthy for the start of camp.
Burton was cleared to return, but said on his first day back he was still working toward being full-go.
“I want to make sure that when he’s out here he’s as close to 100 percent as possible,” Nagy said. “I want to make sure that this whole preseason I’m doing the right thing there.”