The Bears will proceed cautiously with injured tight end Trey Burton, but they’re increasingly upbeat about his chances of playing Sunday against the Broncos in Denver.
Burton, who missed the season opener with a strained groin, was back at practice Monday.
‘‘Seeing him out there today, he looked like he was moving around pretty good,’’ coach Matt Nagy said. ‘‘We want to stay optimistic . . . and then just kind of feel it out as the days go by and see as the week goes by exactly where he’s at.’’
The biggest indicator that Burton might be ready to return is how close he came to lining up Thursday against the Packers. The Bears had him running in pregame warmups to see how he felt and decided shortly before kickoff to make him inactive.
The extra time between the opener and the trip to Denver helps, too.
Burton has been off-kilter since suffering a sports hernia just before the playoff game against the Eagles in January and appeared to be getting back to normal before he suffered the strained groin two weeks ago.
He is the Bears’ only proven pass catcher at tight end, where he plays a blend of that position and slot receiver. The Bears got one catch out of a tight end against the Packers: a six-yard catch by Adam Shaheen. Nagy’s contingency appeared to be working Tarik Cohen at slot receiver rather than depending on Shaheen or Ben Braunecker to fill in for Burton.
Burton was fourth on the Bears in receptions (54) and touchdowns (six) last season and set a career high with 569 yards receiving.
Offensive line health
As the Bears’ offensive line looks to snap back from an unsatisfying performance in the opener, depth is an issue.
Backup swing tackle Rashaad Coward missed the game against the Packers because of an elbow injury he suffered in the preseason, but he practiced Monday during the period open to the media.
The practice was relatively light for a game week. Players have Tuesday off before the team gets into its normal practice schedule Wednesday. The first injury report of the week also comes out Wednesday.
All five starters on the line played every offensive snap in the Bears’ 10-3 loss to the Packers.
Despite having 10 days leading up to the game against the Broncos, the Bears will not leave early to practice in the altitude ahead of it. They practiced in Denver before a preseason game last summer, and safety Eddie Jackson said he thinks that gives them enough of an idea about what to expect.
‘‘We’re kind of used to it,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve just got to hydrate, and everyone has to fly around to the ball. That’s going to be big for us conditioning-wise. . . . It’s just taking care of your body right now.’’
The Bears are averse to traveling early for any road game, preferring to maintain their weekly routine. The only time they are scheduled to practice in a road city this season is Week 5 in London.
This will be the Bears’ ninth trip to Denver, and they are 3-5 there all-time. Their last game there was a 13-10 loss in 2011.