When tight end Trey Burton woke up with a sore groin the day before the Bears hosted the Eagles in the wild-card round, the Bears put him through typical testing, which revealed physical damage.
“He woke up with the inflammation in the groin area,” Pace said Monday. “All our MRIs, all our scans showed that, so it’s significant. We talked through that really every second, and for us, our doctors and what the tests revealed, that was a real injury that he had to deal with.
“We were hopeful that it would calm down by kickoff. Unfortunately, it didn’t. Our expectation would be, if we were fortunate enough to win that game, he could have been ready the next week. But he wasn’t ready that game.”
The Eagles’ 16-15 victory against the Bears was the first game that Burton missed this season. Burton spent his first four seasons with the Eagles.
Burton met the media a day after Bears’ season-ending loss, saying that his body has a history of locking up “when it feels any threat.” He was asked if his struggles with anxiety played a role with his groin injury.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I was in a really good spot mentally going into this game. I was extremely excited to play my former team. And obviously a playoff game, as well. I was really looking forward to competing with those guys that I played with for four years.”
Pace said it was “hard to tell” where Burton’s injury originated.
Burton fully participated in practice on the Friday before the game.
“We just know that thing popped up Saturday morning, and he was unable to play,” Pace said.
Is Pace concerned that Burton’s struggles with anxiety will become an issue going forward?
“No,” he said. “No.”
A banged-up Mack
Pace said that outside linebacker Khalil Mack sprained his knee against the Eagles.
It’s why Mack won’t participate in the Pro Bowl.
“He tweaked his knee in our final game,” Pace said. “It’s nothing that we’re overly concerned about.”
Receiver Anthony Miller will undergo surgery on his left shoulder, which he said he dislocated “numerous” times during the season.
“That’s really the only significant [surgery],” Pace said of his team.
Miller, a second-round, played in 15 games, making 33 catches for 423 yards and seven touchdowns.