Packers Lose TE for Several Weeks, Could Seek Help From Ex-Bears Starter

Trey Burton Packers

Getty Trey Burtonspent two seasons with the Chicago Bears and is currently a free agent.

Less than a week after parting ways with tight end Jace Sternberger, the Green Bay Packers have placed Dominique Dafney on the injured reserve list.

The team announced the move on Saturday, September 25, the day before Green Bay has its Week 3 showdown against the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers also confirmed that starting offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins will miss the game this week after he injured his ankle in the team’s Monday night win over the Detroit Lions.

Robert Tonyan, Marcedes Lewis and Josiah Deguara will all be suited up for Sunday Night Football against San Francisco, but if the injury bug were to bite one of them, the Pack would be in serious trouble. Green Bay does have options, however.

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The Bridge is Likely Burned Between Green Bay & Sternberger

Sternberger was waived by the Packers on September 21, and the Seattle Seahawks added him to their practice squad immediately after he cleared waivers. Sternberger didn’t play at all the first two weeks, as he received a two-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy, but Green Bay chose to move on from him instead of giving him another chance. Now, with Dafney out at least three weeks, the team could use some depth at tight end.

The Pack selected the young TE in the third round of the 2019 draft out of Texas A&M, but a reunion so soon is not likely.

“You know, it’s always a tough decision,” Packers head coach Matt LaFleur said about Sternberger’s release. “Whenever you have a competitive room like that, it was just one of those deals where we appreciate everything Jase has done. You know, it just was a tough decision.”

While the Packers probably won’t be knocking down Sternberger’s door, there’s an intriguing veteran option available at the position if they’re looking for another tight end.

Should the Packers Kick the Tires on Trey Burton?

Veteran tight end Trey Burton has spent the last seven seasons in the league, but he has yet to land with a team this season. Burton signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2014 out of the University of Florida. He spent four years with the Eagles, catching 63 passes for 629 yards and six touchdowns in 61 games and five starts.

Burton is best known for his role in the “Philly Special,” when he tossed a TD to former Eagles quarterback (and current Bears third-stringer) Nick Foles when both won Super Bowl LII with the Eagles.

The Chicago Bears signed Burton in 2018, and he started 21 games for Chicago during the 2018-19 seasons, racking up 653 yards on 68 catches while hauling in six touchdowns. He missed time with groin and hip injuries while with the Bears, and they let him go after the 2019 season. He caught on with the Indianapolis Colts last season, and after missing the first three games of the year due to a calf injury, Burton rebounded nicely, playing in 13 games and starting four. He caught 28 passes for 250 and three scores with Indy last year, but he has yet to find a new team.

The 29-year-old TE, who turns 30 next month, has excellent hands and is a legit red zone target when healthy — which he appears to be. Burton worked out with the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 23, per ESPN’s Field Yates, and he’s still looking to contribute somewhere. If the Packers decide to go tight end shopping, they might want to bring this former Chicago Bear in for a test drive. He certainly wouldn’t be a bad practice squad addition, if nothing else.

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