Burton (hip) said he's made it through four months of a six-month recovery process from December surgery, Stephen Holder of The Athletic reports. In other words, he isn't ready for medical clearance but expects it to happen at some point this summer. The 28-year-old tight end was cut by the Bears last week and signed by the Colts a few days later, thus reuniting with head coach Frank Reich, who served as offensive coordinator for the final two of Burton's four years with the Eagles. Burton figures to slide in behind Jack Doyle on the depth chart, competing with Mo Alie-Cox for playing time in an offense that typically shows a reasonable balance between three-WR and two-TE formations. The Colts did add fullback Roosevelt Nix (knee) earlier this offseason, so that could be another wrinkle that takes snaps away from the depth guys at WR and TE.
The Colts and Burton (hip) agreed to a contract Wednesday, Field Yates of ESPN reports. Burton has managed just eight appearances since injuring himself in advance of the Bears' wild-card loss to the Eagles in January 2019. Since that game, he's undergone sports hernia surgery, dealt with a calf issue and had another procedure to deal with a labrum injury in his hip. He thus ended his tenure in Chicago with a 68-653-6 line on 100 targets across 24 contests before his release Friday. Upon joining the Colts, Burton may compete for slotting with Mo Alie-Cox behind starting tight end Jack Doyle.
The Bears will release Burton (hip), Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Burton, who is bouncing back from an offseason procedure on his hip, became expendable when the Bears signed Jimmy Graham. The 28-year-old thus enters free agency as an option for teams looking to add tight end depth, with the Patriots representing a potential fit. Burton caught 54 passes with Chicago in 2018, but his production dipped to 14 catches for 84 yards in eight games last year.
Burton (hip) is still rehabbing and remains on track to return for training camp, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com reports. Burton struggled to get back to full strength after sports hernia surgery last offseason, catching 14 passes in eight games during the 2019 campaign before undergoing hip labrum surgery in December. The need for surgery kicked in a guarantee that covers $4 million of his $6.7 million base salary for 2020, but it won't come as any surprise if Burton is cut or traded before Week 1, considering the Bears signed fellow tight end Jimmy Graham to a two-year, $16 million contract in mid-March.
Burton (hip) should be ready for the start of training camp, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reports. Burton had sports hernia surgery last offseason and never seemed fully healthy in 2019. He caught just 14 passes in eight games before landing on injured reserve, and he then had December surgery to address a labrum injury in his hip. Burton is entering the third season of a four-year, $32 million contract, with an injury guarantee covering 59.7 percent of his $6.7 million base salary for 2020, per overthecap.com. The contract structure suggests he'll be back in Chicago for at least one more season, though the team may add competition for the starting job at tight end.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3||09/27||New York Jets||4||5.13|
|11||11/22||Green Bay Packers||14||6.78|
|14||12/13||@Las Vegas Raiders||0.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||44||30||300||4||16||10.00||56|