Burton Set to Get His Big Opportunity
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - Despite the positive spin in South Philadelphia, it’s extremely unlikely that Zach Ertz will play Monday night when the Eagles try to move to 2-0 on the young season when they visit the Chicago Bears.
An NFL source tells 973espn.com that a displaced first rib could have the starting tight end on the sidelines until Oct. 9 in Detroit, after the team’s early bye week.
And that means next man up in the NFL’s world.
In this case, that’s Trey Burton, the special-teams ace who was supposed to take on a bigger role in this offense anyway but was a late scratch against Cleveland last Sunday due to a calf injury suffered in practice a week ago.
Although Burton comes into Monday night with just three career receptions in 31 NFL games, he broke out as a bit of a training camp and the preseason as a unique player who can be used in many different roles as a pass catcher thanks to his speed and athleticism.
“Trey’s got to step up, offensive coordinator Frank Reich admitted Friday. “We've got to adapt. You just switch up your personnel groups. The good thing is, with this offensive system, it’s all built on a multiple approach. You can change formations. You can change personnel groups and still run the same plays.”
That part is a little strange because, at just 6-foot-3 and 235 pounds, Burton has a different skill set than the must rangier Ertz, one built on pure speed rather than length and an imposing catch radius.
Either way, Reich has confidence in Burton being a contributor.
"Trey repeatedly showed, day-in and day-out, that it just wasn’t an occasional thing for him to keep flashing in practice or making plays,” Reich said. “It just shows a lot of natural ability, instinctive ability. It’s a big opportunity for him.”
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen