Trey Burton

2020 Bears schedule: Can Philip Rivers revitalize Colts by Week 4 matchup?

2020 Bears schedule: Can Philip Rivers revitalize Colts by Week 4 matchup?

The Game

The Bears will host the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 4 for a noon tilt. The Bears last faced Indianapolis on Oct. 9, 2016, when the Andrew Luck-led Colts (coached by current Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano) beat Brian Hoyer and the Bears 29-23 on a late T.Y. Hilton touchdown catch. Pagano’s unit, led by Khalil Mack, will get their chance to hunt Rivers in Week 4.

Player to Watch

Perhaps no team in the AFC South has improved more this offseason than the Indianapolis Colts, with a transaction log headlined by the addition of veteran QB Philip Rivers on a one-year deal. Head coach Frank Reich’s group finished 9-7 and second in the AFC South last season with lackluster QB play, and even though Rivers is in the twilight of his career, he’s still an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett. Rivers made complete sense for Indy to take a gamble on considering his history with Reich and his staff from their time together with the Chargers.

MORE: Bears 2020 schedule: Game-by-game predictions

Additions & Subtractions

Aside from Rivers, the Colts also made a big splash by trading for and then extending All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner, who is now the second-highest paid defensive tackle in football (trailing only the Rams’ Aaron Donald). Buckner has missed just one game over his four-year career and has collected 19.5 sacks in the last two seasons, so the Colts are expecting him to cause a lot of problems for opposing offensive lines for years into the future.

Key Storyline

The October matchup will be a reunion between the Bears and tight end Trey Burton, who was cut in March after having multiple injury issues that tainted his time in Chicago. In Indianapolis, Burton will try to help fill the void left by Eric Ebron, who left for Pittsburgh in free agency.

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Trey Burton says he was 'misdiagnosed' last year, excited for fresh start

Trey Burton says he was 'misdiagnosed' last year, excited for fresh start

Tight end Trey Burton had a rough tenure in Chicago. The former Bear and new Indianapolis Colt was often injured in his Bears tenure. In over two years with the Bears, Burton started in 21 games (played in 24). and collected 68 receptions for 653 yards and six touchdowns. Part of the reason the Bears ultimately decided to part ways with Burton was the nagging injuries that made it difficult to evaluate his play in the first place.

But things could've gone much better for Burton last season, and in an interview with Colts Insider Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star, the 28-year-old tight end said that a hasty return to play was part of why things didn't work out. 

I was misdiagnosed with an injury before the season last year... I had (last-minute) surgery that was pretty serious and very extensive, and I tried to get back to playing. I was kind of rushed back into playing and didn't necessarily have the time to recover I should have had.

RELATED: Why Bears envision Cole Kmet as key fix for Matt Nagy's offense

Despite not living up to his contract in his brief time in Chicago, the unconventional timing of the release caught him, and many NFL pundits, off guard.

Burton went on to say that after having several productive conversations with the Bears, he was looking forward to working towards a big year in Chicago. Burton stated that the "surprise level was high" when the Bears released him, and now he is looks forward to proving that cutting him was a mistake. 

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Bears can look elsewhere for TE help, Bucs in no hurry to move O.J. Howard

Bears can look elsewhere for TE help, Bucs in no hurry to move O.J. Howard

According to a report from ESPN Senior NFL insider Adam Schefter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in no hurry to trade young tight end OJ Howard. The status of Howard has been something of interest around the league since the Bucs shockingly completed a trade for 4-time All-Pro Rob Gronkowski. 

Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht stated that the Buccaneers are excited to have Gronkowski join their tight end group, a group that already includes Howard and Cameron Brate. "Why wouldn't you want to have many weapons at that position?"

New Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady dominated during his time with the New England Patriots using a variety of multiple tight end sets. He is now set up to have a potentially devastating offense led by wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and their athletic tight end group that now includes Gronk. With all that being said, it is no shock that Licht and the Bucs are in no rush to move Howard or Brate yet, though things could change following the 2020 NFL Draft. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.