The black hole that is the Chicago Bears’ offense isn’t done claiming victims.
Tight end Trey Burton will now miss the remainder of the season after being place on injured reserve with damage to his calf and groin.
Burton was a focal point of the Bears’ offense that won the NFC North last season. After coming over from the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2018 offseason, Burton appeared in 16 games and hauled in 54 passes for 569 yards and six touchdowns.
That success didn’t carry over to 2019. Burton has caught just 24 passes for 84 yards without any scores this season and the Bears have certainly felt his lack of offensive presence. Chicago boasts the third-worst receiving unit in the NFL, ahead of only Washington and the New York Jets.
Of course, not all of that is on Burton. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been atrocious in his third year in the league, and the absence of a consistent running game has only allowed defenses to further key in on his deficiencies. Burton was a safety valve of sorts for the offense. At 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, he had the size and skill to provide blocking assistance while his route running ability made him a notable threat downfield.
Making matters worse for the Bears: Backup tight end Adam Shaheen has been ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Rams with a foot injury.
Ben Braunecker is third on Chicago’s depth chart. The fourth-year player out of Harvard has made just five career starts — including last week when he caught three passes on four targets for 42 yards and a touchdown.
The Bears have often run into bad luck with their tight ends. Before Burton’s injury, the team dealt with a season-ending concussion to Dion Sims in 2018, a career-ending injury to Zach Miller in 2017 and myriad injuries to Greg Olsen throughout his time in Chicago.
Burton does have an out in his contract after this season and could become a free agent. The way the Bears offense is working out, it’s certainly worth wondering if he’s played his last game for Chicago.
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